I haven’t read Michael Wolffe’s new book on the 2016 Trump Presidential campaign (it's not officially out yet), but one look at the long excerpt printed in NEW YORK magazine tells me it’s quite an imaginative work of fiction. A number of people closely associated with the campaign and in the best position to know have already said as much, strongly denying statements they’re quoted as saying.
Just by paying attention to the tone of the writing, one can easily see that this is a contrived narrative dripping with negativity and cynicism, especially the theme of Trump assuming all along that he would lose. Notice how much of it is hyperbolic rhetoric, much like an attorney’s colorful summation, which as we know can be any old observation he wants to throw in with no evidence whatsoever required to back it up. Here’s just one example of the writing: “Few people who knew Trump had illusions about him. That was his appeal: he was what he was. Twinkle in his eye, larceny in his soul.”
Mercy. It goes on from there, and get worse. In fact, it’s so over-the-top, I suspect that large portions may have been ghostwritten by the team of Mika Brzezinski and Joe Scarborough. This sure brings out the skeptic in me, and I’m betting it does the same for you. Anyone with half a brain will have loads of questions, such as: How is it possible to verify any conversation that was purportedly had with Roger Ailes, who very conveniently happens to be dead?
The book even claims that Melania Trump was in tears (“and not of joy”) on election night, because she had never wanted her husband to win and was filled with dread. She has put out a statement strongly denying that.
The quotes attributed to former (he was fired) campaign aide Steve Bannon –- the ones capturing the most media attention –- must be viewed in that light. Just to cite one example, if he actually told the author that Donald Trump, Jr., would be “cracked like an egg” by investigators and had committed treason by agreeing to take a meeting with someone he thought might have dirt (commonly called “opposition research”) on Hillary, keep in mind that he has previously claimed there was absolutely nothing to the Russian collusion narrative. Funny how someone who’s been described as an unstable far-right nut is suddenly an impeccable source for truth, only because he’s now serving up a tasty treat that anti-Trumpers will eat with a spoon.
Bannon may be persona non grata at the White House now, but if he sticks to his story, he might end up with a steady gig at MSNBC.
If there’s any speck of truth buried within this pile of taint, it’s so thoroughly covered by the taint that it can’t even be discerned. Much will be thoroughly debunked in the coming days. In the meantime, we should get back to business, as Trump already has. After tweeting, of course...