"Michael Wolff says his work is based on more than 200 interviews and that he took up "something like a semi-permanent seat on a couch in the West Wing" following the president's inauguration for a close-up insight into the fledgling administration. Here are 11 of the book's revelations, with commentary from the BBC's Anthony Zurcher."
What books, zines or other pulp are you reading? What aren't you reading? What should everyone else read?
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There is one thing corroborated from several sources, though. Except for Twitter and maybe a few other apps, Trump doesn't read. Anything. Ever.
While Trump and his allies, as well as some mainstream journalists, have attacked the accuracy of Wolff’s book, Trump’s allergy to reading is among the most fully corroborated assertions Fire and Fury makes.
MSNBC host Joe Scarborough wrote a column Friday saying that in September 2015, he confronted Trump over poor debate performances, saying, “Can you read?” Met with silence, Scarborough pressed again: “I’m serious, Donald. Do you read? If someone wrote you a one-page paper on a policy, could you read it?” Trump replied by brandishing a Bible from his mother and saying he read it all the time—probably a self-aware joke, given Trump’s proud impiety and displayed ignorance of the Bible.
But the larger picture, as the Atlantic points out, is how many people knew about Trump's faults and kept their mouths shut.
The Scarborough anecdote is the strangest of these. This is not only because Scarborough held on to the story for nearly a year and a half, and continued to hype Trump’s candidacy on air and advise him privately. (As James Fallows notes, the real scandal of the Wolff book is that so many people have such grave misgivings about Trump but have kept their heads down.) It is also unfortunate because Trump is clearly, in strictly literal terms, literate. He displays his basic grasp of the language—if in sloppy, often typo-ridden ways—on Twitter on a roughly daily basis. Such stories, by dint of their hyperbole, offer a bit of a distraction from how serious the problem is.
According to Wolff, he doesn't listen much either. To anybody. That's how he stays so genius.
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