In an interview with CNN’s Don Lemon on Monday, Fire and Fury author Michael Wolff claimed while it was President Donald Trump who initially granted him access to the White House, it was Steve Bannon who encouraged “people to cooperate.”
“In the book you say Bannon told people to cooperate,” Don Lemon said.
“Bannon told people to cooperate,” Wolff responded. “Sean Spicer told people to cooperate. Kellyanne Conway told people to cooperate. Hope Hicks.”
Wolff said people in the White House and Trump supporters who are calling his book “fake” are “liars.”
“So then why are they saying it’s fake?” Lemon asked.
‘Because they’re liars,” Wolff answered. “This is â€“ what are you talking about? This is Donald Trump. This is what he does. Day after day after day after day, incident after incident after incident, he doesn’t tell the truth, because he doesn’t know what the truth is, because he doesn’t care what the truth is, because his reality is different from everybody else’s reality.”
Transcript, via CNN:
DON LEMON, CNN: Yes, so who did you speak to at the White House because â€“ did you â€“ how many people did you talk to at the White House beside Steve Bannon and Katie Walsh? You said 200 people. Two hundred interviews.
MICHAEL WOLFF, ‘FIRE AND FURY’ AUTHOR: Two hundred interviews, so inside, outside, people from Trump’s past. As many people as I thought would have relevant information, I was certainly trying to see. In terms of in the White House, deep â€“ a deep bench (ph) of the people closest to the president.
LEMON: Including top advisors and top people in the White House?
LEMON: OK, and the president? Because you said you interviewed the president for three hours, he said that that is untrue. The White House says that the last time you spoke to the president was in February, and the conversation wasn’t an interview at all and you were â€“
WOLFF: I don’t know what â€“
LEMON: — we’re talking about the book â€“
WOLFF: Yes, I don’t know what he thinks of is an interview or not. I â€“ the conversation I had with him in February was perfectly on the record, or that is to say he didn’t put it off the record. In successive things, when I would see him in the White House, you know we spoke in a friendly way. Important point here â€“ and this is the point they’re trying, of course â€“ they first try to put this as this is about Steve Bannon when it’s not, it’s a book about the President of the United States. And then they started to try to put this, oh well, I didn’t see the president — I only saw the president for this three hours â€“
LEMON: They’re saying that this â€“ February the conversation wasn’t an interview, you were telling the president about the book. So, how many times did you speak to the president as president?
WOLFF: OK, you don’t tell the president anything, because he motor mouths. He just keeps talking at you. So this is not a question of me telling him, it’s a question I’m â€“ I got this enormous information feed at that moment from the president, as you always do. But again, this is not a book â€“ not a book about my impressions of the president. It is the book about the impressions of the people around him â€“
LEMON: OK —
WOLFF: — of him.
LEMON: So â€“ but I want to understand. You had this extraordinary access. Did you find it odd that you had this access? Who granted you the access initially? Was it Steve Bannon? Who was it?
WOLFF: No, it was the President of the United States.
LEMON: The â€“ you asked him? You said I am going â€“
WOLFF: Yes, I want to write a book. I mean, the thing â€“ and I’ve recounted this before, I said "I want to write a book about the first 100 days.â€ Then he said, "A book?â€ â€“ Or I said "I want to come in and I want to observe.â€ And then he thought I was asking for a job. And then I said "No, I want to write a book,â€ and he said "A book?â€ And then he said, "Oh, do you know Ed Klein?â€ Another writer who he knows who wrote an anti-Hillary book, then he said "I’d like him to write a book about me.â€ And I said but I â€“ I said "OK.â€ I was like uh OK. So then I went and told everybody the president says it’s OK.
LEMON: And so you had access â€“ you went and told everybody who? At the White House in the West Wing?
WOLFF: Yes, I would call up the â€“ write an e-mail and say the president has (ph) this â€“ and he did, everybody â€“ this was not a secret â€“ everybody was told to speak to me.
LEMON: And in the book you say Bannon told people to cooperate.
WOLFF: Bannon told people to cooperate. Sean Spicer told people to cooperate. Kellyanne Conway told people to cooperate â€“
LEMON: So then why are they saying it’s fake?
WOLFF: Hope Hicks â€“ because they’re liars. This is â€“ what are you talking about? This is Donald Trump. This is what he does. Day after day after day after day, incident after incident after incident, he doesn’t tell the truth, because he doesn’t know what the truth is, because he doesn’t care what the truth is, because his reality is different from everybody else’s reality. …read more