They were so loved. And now only hate, resentment, recriminations: a great obsession in the name of the ideology that will end – it is already ending – with a legal battle. The White House declares war on the book-denunciation of Michael Wolff on the venomous background of the presidency told by former strategist Steve Bannon. One of Donald Trump’s lawyers, Charles Harder, sent a letter of fire to Henry Holt and Wolff to warn that the volume “Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House” next Tuesday will be “immediately withdrawn” from the shelves. Harder states, without providing details, that it contains “numerous falsehoods and unfounded declarations”. And it threatens otherwise for defamation and violation of privacy. Finally, Trump asks for formal apologies for the contents of the book.
The anger of the White House is nourished by the potentially explosive content of revelations. “He will not make it,” Bannon says, speaking of Trump’s chances to complete the mandate without impeachment or political collapse. The most disruptive accusation is directed against the narrower circle of councilors and family members of the president: his son Don Jr. and his son-in-law Jared Kushner. Bannon calls them “traitors” and “non-patriotic” for having met during the electoral campaign Russian emissaries chasing compromising information on Hillary Clinton, without the presence of lawyers and without warning the FBI. Not only that: it also says that there are “zero probabilities” that Trump himself has not been made aware of it. Bannon predicts that special prosecutor Robert Mueller will focus on “recycling” tracks against Kushner that Don Jr. will be “shattered like an eggshell”. The ambitious daughter Ivanka is not spared – she is “stupid” – nor Trump himself, also citing other advisers. Chief economist Gary Cohn considers the president “dull, an idiot surrounded by clowns”. Trump had initially replied in the rhymes: Bannon, who would not have counted anything in the elections, “has lost his job and his head.”