Stay up to date with notifications from The Independent

Notifications can be managed in browser preferences.

As it happenedended1515113542

Donald Trump book claims – live updates: Steve Bannon ‘broke terms of White House job’ by speaking to Michael Wolff

Clark Mindock
New York
Thursday 04 January 2018 15:25 GMT
The most explosive claims from a new book about Trump's white house

An explosive new book claiming to have the inside scoop on President Donald Trump's White House is going on sale early due to "unprecedented demand," the publisher has said.

An attorney for Mr Trump, Charles J Harder had earlier instructed the publisher, Henry Holt, to “immediately cease and desist from any further publication, release or dissemination of the book,” in a letter. Mr Harder said he is pursuing possible libel charges against the book’s author.

Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House, a purported tell-all book about Mr Trump’s presidency penned by veteran journalist Michael Wolff, set off a flurry of condemnation from the White House after excerpts were published on Wednesday. Select excerpts claim that Melania Trump was devastated when her husband won the election, and that former presidential adviser Steve Bannon called a 2016 Trump Tower meeting between Donald Trump Jr, the president's son, and a Kremlin-linked lawyer, “treasonous”.

White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders claimed on Thursday the book was ”filled with false and misleading accounts from individuals who have no access or influence with the White House”. On Thursday, she told reporters that the White House had denied more than 30 requests for information from Mr Wolff.

“This book is mistake after mistake after mistake,” she said.

Ms Sanders also responded to a question about suggestions in the book, said to include purported quotes from Mr Bannon, that Mr Trump is mentally unfit to serve as president. She called such suggestions "disgraceful and laughable".

“If we was unfit, he probably wouldn't be sitting there and wouldn't have defeated the most qualified group of candidates the Republican Party has ever seen," Ms Sanders claimed. "This is an incredibly strong and good leader... That's why we've had such a successful 2017," she added.

Mr Trump cut ties with Mr Bannon on Wednesday, saying his former adviser had "lost his mind," in a blistering statement issued after comments attributed to Bannon in the book were made public.

Mr Trump's statement also diminished Mr Bannon's role in the election victory and accused him of leaking to the media. Before joining the campaign, Mr Bannon headed the conservative Breitbart News website and proved to be a divisive figure in the White House. He returned to Breitbart after being fired, although he is reported to have continued to talk with Trump.

Mr Bannon's reaction to the book controversy has been muted. In interviews with Breitbart after the news broke, he called Mr Trump a "great man" and pledged continued support for the president's agenda.

The president took note of that on Thursday as he looked to distance himself from a man who was one of his closest allies. "He called me a great man last night so he obviously changed his tune pretty quick," Trump told reporters on Thursday. "I don't talk to him. That's a misnomer."


Welcome to The Independent's live blog on the continued reaction to a set of explosive claims, to be published in a new book, about Donald Trump's White House.

Adam Withnall4 January 2018 14:40

The book, authored by Michael Wolff has already set off a furious war between President Trump and his former adviser Steve Bannon, over quotes attributed to Mr Bannon.

Mr Bannon is quoted as calling a meeting between Mr Trump's son, Donald Jr, and a Russian Kremlin-linked lawyer as "treasonous" - quotes dismissed by the White House as "ridiculous".

Kristin Hugo4 January 2018 15:10

Mr Trump also issued a statement saying that Mr Bannon had lost his mind.

Kristin Hugo4 January 2018 15:12

That exchange could see the end of what had been a close relationship between the pair - despite Mr Trump suggesting otherwise.

Kristin Hugo4 January 2018 15:13

Lawyers acting for the president are now seeking for the publisher of Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House, to halt publication.

Kristin Hugo4 January 2018 15:19

Anthony Scaramucci, the one-time communications director for President Donald Trump, has spoken up in defense of his former boss.

Mr Scaramucci, who served for just 10-days in his White House post, was fired after an expletive ridden phone call with then-New Yorker political correspondent Ryan Lizza. During that call, Mr Scaramucci was particularly harsh on Steve Bannon.

Steve Anderson4 January 2018 15:48

President Donald Trump has insisted that he doesn't keep regular contact with Steve Bannon after bombshell excerpts from a book detailing the power plays in the White House during the first year of his presidency.

Steve Anderson4 January 2018 17:02

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich agrees with the president about former Trump strategist Steve Bannon. Gingrich told reporters Thursday, "Well, I think Bannon has lost his mind, so that was an accurate tweet." 

The Georgia Republican was responding to President Donald Trump's statement that claimed Mr Bannon has "lost his mind." 

Mr Gingrich said: "The fact is, he's going to be president, probably for eight years, and you guys just have to get used to the fact that he is who he is." 

Kristin Hugo4 January 2018 18:57

White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders has said Breitbart News should “consider” parting ways with Steve Bannon in the wake of his spat with President Doanld Trump.

Ms Sanders was asked whether she believes Mr Bannon should be fired from the news organisation, given her previous calls for ESPN to terminate host Jemele Hill over comments she made on Twitter.

“I certainly think that it’s something they should look at and consider,” Ms Sanders said during her daily press briefing.

Kristin Hugo4 January 2018 20:05

Ms Sanders also called the book "some trash" that came from "an author that no one had ever heard of until today."

"This book is mistake after mistake after mistake," she said.

Kristin Hugo4 January 2018 20:28

Join our commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies


Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in