Michael Wolff on Trump Under Siege

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This is kick ass news. I'm Ben Mathis. Today's episode is brought to you by Kronos. Kronos, provides HR solutions for the modern workforce, and the people who support motivate and engage them, they put HR payroll talent and timekeeping on a single cloud based platform. Learn more about Kronos, HR payroll talent and time at Kronos dot com slash HR swagger. That's Cronos dot com slash HR swagger. And now enjoy the show. Hi, I'm Ben Mathis, welcome to kick ass news last year. Michael wolf's book, fire and fury skyrocketed, to number one on the New York Times bestseller list with its account of palace intrigues inside the Trump administration and shocking details of the president's pettiness, lack of ethics and at times outright. Hapless buffoonery now, Mike, a wolf follows it up with his latest book, siege, Trump underfire, an equally explosive book about the presidency that is under attack from almost every side beginning, just as Trump's second year as president is getting underway and ending with the delivery of the mother report siege reveals an administration that is perpetually beleaguered by investigations and a president who is increasingly volatile erratic and exposed. And today, Michael Wolff joins me on the podcast to talk about the book and how he got so many of his original sources to talk to him again. Even. After President Trump threatened to prosecute leakers. We talk about how Robert Muller, carefully strategized and gamed out every step of the Russia probe, how his team delicately avoided provoking Trump into shutting down the investigation, and whether or not mother may have actually drafted an indictment of Donald Trump. He shares how Jared Kushner's suspicious dealings with shady, foreign investors. Jeopardized his White House security clearance. How he sought the counsel of Henry Kissinger, and his effort to install himself as secretary of state and how Jared and Ivanka see the current administration as their own stepping stone to the presidency. Michael offers juicy insights into Trump's troubled history with women how Trump's owned boasting, true or not led to rumors of an affair in the White House and how Trump's inner circle lives in constant fear of the day when the metoo movement will inevitably catch up to the president. He shed some light on Donald and Milania marriage of convenience. Malania. Mysterious week long hospital, stay and rumors of security camera footage of Donald striking his wife in a hotel elevator. He reveals how Senator Mitch McConnell got the upper hand on the president. Why Steve Bannon still holds out hope that Trump will bring him back into the fold. And the real reason Nikki Haley resigned as embassador to the UN, plus how Trump started a family feud at Fox News, more evidence that Trump is just plain bat shit crazy. And I asked him the question burning on everyone's mind. Why is Donald Trump just so damn weird? Coming up with Michael wolf in just a moment. Nyquil wolf is the author of fire and fury, the number one bestseller, that for the first time told the inside story of the Trump White House. He's received numerous awards for his work, including two national magazine awards, the author of seven previous books. He's been a regular columnist for Vanity Fair, New York. The Hollywood reporter British G Q and other magazines and newspapers. Now, he's following up his bestseller fire and fury with an equally revealing portrait of Trump's second year in office. It's titled siege. Trump underfire, Michael Wolff, welcome to the podcast. Thanks for having me. Well, Michael, I think you say that you have a hundred and fifty sources for siege, how many of those were repeat customers from fire and fury up anywhere? I mean, that's really the origin of this of this second book, is that after the first book everybody kept speaking to me. So it was a a natural. Segue. The story went on and in the people talking about the story continued to talk. So here I am lemme ask you this Michael, how did you get so many of these Trump insiders to talk again, especially after Trump threaten to prosecute any leakers. Aren't they afraid? Well, you know, most of the people who, who have spoken to me, actually are out of the White House. Now, in fact, most of the people who matter of fact, the White House is practically speaking empty now. So the first wave of Trump insiders was left the White House. And now the second wave of Trump insiders has has left the White House, so which leaves everybody free to, to talk, and talk, and frankly to talk. So I mean, I think one of the things about about being associated with this White House, is that you remain. Not only wrapped up in the story, but ever trying to understand the story one of the people who participated in both books, and has been pretty open about it was Steve Bannon. He plays really an outsized role in this book and seems to have as good of an understanding of how things work in the Trump White House, is anyone what's your relationship with Steve Bannon, like, well, we have a good relationship, and we've spent a lot of time talking about about about this subject. I mean, I think Steve spends all of his time, talking about about this subject. And, you know, I have a of all of the people who have been around Trump associated with Trump over the last three years, I, I continue to find Steve Bannon certainly among the most the most insightful people, and in a way that the most among the bravest because he's certainly willing to put his name to what he says. Is a yen. It's interesting that a guy who's been outside of the Trump administration for what something around a year. Now of all the people, he seems to have probably a more accurate sense of what's going on. And who Trump is than probably anyone who still in Trump's inner circle, why does he have such access? How does he know these thing? Well, I, I think I think I'm to be outside. It's a weird kind of kind of outside nece because both Trump and Bannon remain focused on each other Bannon has considerable clout within the White House because he carries the 'ideological flags. So, so the real pillars of, of Trump ISM the immigration initiatives, the, the, the, the China issue. This is all Steve Bannon. I mean, it's, it's somewhat Trump to but Trump. Can one is prone to wandering off topic here and, and Bannon is one of the people pulling the levers who keeps him resolutely on topic. Yeah. There seemed to be a number of people on the outside who maintain their ties to the White House in some cases in spite of having left on bad terms. Is it a little bit like the godfather, you know, just when you think you're out, they pull you back in? Well, I think it's partly that and then I think it's partly this, this, this kind of co dependence, nobody exists without the White House. This is, you know, certainly, certainly Bannon, as a prime example, has become an a in a significant voice in the world, because of Donald Trump, as strangely Donald Trump doesn't exist without those people either, you know, again, again, to ban Donald Trump becomes the president United States because of. Steve bannon. There's really no other Steve really remains the, the crucial piece of the puzzle there. And so, so they, they go back and forth. They, they love each other. They hate each other. They're attracted to each other, they're repelled by each other. It's a it's a totally fascinating. And, and pretty naked personal drama, you have some interesting insights into the Trump Bannon relationship. In fact, you say Trump's misfortune has always been Bannon's opportunity. Can you give some examples of that? Well, I, I think you know, abandoned went into the campaign in, in, in August two thousand sixteen Trump was down by a sp- seventeen I some like fifteen to twenty points down. You know, the campaign was basically on life support if that the. The, you know, the, the Republican party was about to cut cut cut the campaign, loose Bannon came in righted, the ship had a strategy for for how they could thread the needle and in fact win. And that's and that's what happened. And right now, I would I would say that it is on both of their minds whether to whether whether Bannon becomes involved with the with the twenty twenty campaign. Let's hardly simple because because Trump can can can barely abide the idea that, that, that he might again, be in the position where people go around and say he owes his presidency to Steve Bannon in Steve Bannon can barely abide. The possibility of having a work again for Donald Trump. A man among for, for all other beyond all other issues man, who is extremely unpleasant to work for Bannon's. Hardly the only person around the president who has an agenda parts of this book read a lot like game of thrones, another one of these people as Mitch McConnell. How did he manipulate the midterm elections to give him maximum leverage over the president? Well from, you know, well more than a year ago McConnell started to say to people at the house was lost. And they should, and this is basically to donors. They should right off the house. The house race and put all their money into the Senate if they could help hold the Senate. They would hold the Senate, especially if they had if they had the resources. And that's what happened in that, you know, in a pretty particular way makes Mitch McConnell. The king-maker. The, the president of the United States, exists now because the Senate is his bulwark against. Against impeachment and the and the investigations in the house of representatives. That means Mitch McConnell is basically the man in the cappers seat. Now, I have to ask about the key event of the second year in the Trump presidency the Muller investigation, you describe Muller as sort of a hamlet figure whose fatal flaw may have been that he's too careful or to fair. Can you expand on that there, there is a Steve Bannon in the in the in the book? At one point says this is after the Muller report comes out. He says, never send them marine to do a hitman job. And, and I think what that what that means is that in the in the in the ultimate analysis, Robert Muller, who, who many anti-trump people had vested, a kind of heroes or. Era around turned out to be a man much more interested in protecting the institutions. In my own theory here. And, and, you know, I have some I have a set of, of, of, of documents which shed some light on what was going on in the in the Muller investigation over the less last last two years. And, but my own theory in, in, in reading these these these documents is that is that Muller made the decision that, that he stood between between a president, who, if he confronted him directly would provoke a the mother of all constitutional crises. And so, I think he proceeded in a in a in, you know, you could call it a, a half set of halfway measures or a significantly more uncon- frontier manner, and in. In the end they produced a report, which is damning to the president. But in fact, at let's at least at this point seems to let the president survive, you know, I've I run through this in my mind thinking, what would what would happen if it was if it were someone else, and I kind of played the scenario out what would happen if in a kind of parallel universe. It had been somebody like Rudy Giuliani who, who was the special prosecutor and in, in, in that instance, I would say certainly a Rudy Giuliani type would have indicted that son of a bitch will since you brought him up when Trump brought Giuliani on his legal team. You say that everyone in the administration thought that he was drunk, or he had dementia, or he was nuts, every time he went on Fox News in, including including, including the president would often often point out that Rudy is losing. Yeah. But you also say that his craziness worked from a PR standpoint is Rudy crazy or is he crazy like a FOX it, you know, I think that's the question about many people in this in this administration. And I tend to think. I tend to think they're just crazy. But just because you're just crazy doesn't mean that craziness can't work for you. And I and I think that was one of the other things about about Muller and how he responded to this Muller is a conventional guy a straight shooter. It's all, he, he, he plays plays by the book and suddenly, you're confronted with these guys who respond incompletely unconventional ways. Crazy ways. You're, you're it's, it's, it's, it's an ace symmetry that I think profoundly confuses anybody who's used to working within the within the, the, the guidelines of established the established process. And now you've made the claim in this book that Muller had a draft indictment drawn up against Trump for obstruction. A recently a mother spoke. Folks, 'person put out a statement saying that your characterization was inaccurate DEA still stand by that. We at Lowell. Let me let me say they the Muller, people said the doc, I think there's exact statement was the documents as described do not exist. So to me, that's an old fashioned non denial denial. And so I've gone around trying to precisely explain the thing that, that I have which demonstrably exists, it's, it's, it's in my hands, but what I have is a is of is of a fifty six page memorandum, and it assumes that the president has been indicted and further assumes that the that the president has gone into court and asked for that indictment to be dismissed on the grounds that you can't indict a sitting. President the document the fifty six page document. I have is in response to, to the president's motion, and it has it's comprised of two parts the first part of about twenty pages. Recaps all of the specifics of three count indictment. And that's what I refer to as the draft indictment. The second part of this memorandum is a very powerful argument about why the special counsel, Ken in fact, indict a sitting president and one thing that you say, is that Muller was constantly strategizing in trying to prepare for all possible outcomes, which can be sort of hard since the president is just so erotic. Is it possible that this was just an option? He wanted to keep in his pocket, if worst came to worst. Or do you think he seriously was weighing? It. I I'm sure I'm sure it was obviously, obviously he, he. Was not. They did not indict the president. So, but, you know this this, you know, the, the Muller investigation, which has run for two years. And you know happened, you know within this incredible cone of silence. So we don't know what happened there. But it did go on for two years. So something must have happened. And I think it would be pretty much inconceivable that they did not consider the terms of a possible indictment in did not debate. They're they're in there. In fact, right to indict the president. So I'm I you know, I think my my sources impeccable here and I'm going to absolutely stand by the fact that, that, that what I'm offering here is, is the is a window in a way the first window into into what was going on behind those doors for the past two years. This. Also seems indicative of the kind of gamesmanship that went into the Mueller investigation from how could they possibly keep the investigation going without provoking Trump to shut it down to weighing whether they should ask Brett Cavanaugh to recuse himself if an indictment went to the supreme court, it seems like the Muller team had to always be one step ahead of the president. Well, I think one of the things that I that I that I also have a set of, of, of research documents and, and the these, these documents are all about the, the, the vulnerabilities of the special counsel's office and the conclusion when you when you read these these documents and they really ask a set of very specific questions, can the president himself, fire the special counsel, answer, yes, what happens to the work product if the if the invest. Education is closed down answer. No one knows. But it is quite possible, that all of the work product could be shredded. It goes on with these these kinds of questions. And, and what you what you learn after after reading these these this substantial research is that the, the special counsel is really in a very fragile construct. They could they could have been closed down at, at any point at any time, and I think one of their goals became not just to, to pursue a case against the president, but, but as much not to be shutdown not to provoke that constitutional crisis along the way. And I mentioned that the mother team was thinking, so far ahead that they were considering whether to ask Brett Cavanaugh to recused himself, if this went to the supreme. In court, and I wanna ask you about cavenaugh did Trump's estimation of his supreme court nominee, Wayne, as the confirmation hearings drug on there's a lot in this book. That's actually quite funny. It's sort of gallows humor but it's, it's funny and, and there's, there's a scene, not long after after Cavanaugh is nominated that somebody in several people have speculated that it's was probably Trump sister of a retired federal judge this, this person tells tells Trump, that there are no Protestants on the supreme court in this is dumb founding to the president. And, and then he suddenly gets gets the idea that, that, that Brett Cavanaugh is part of a part of a Catholic cabal to, to pack the core. And, and then over. Rule ro ro v. Wade. Now, this is all kind of screwy because remember, Trump is theoretically, a, an antiabortion president, of course, of course, many years in the years before he ran for president. He was quite pro abortion. So at this moment in it, it suddenly found him coming back to that point of view, then everybody has to rush in and kind of remind him of what his of what his, his, his position is. And then wh during the when during the Cavanaugh the controversy in in which Cavanaugh was trying to defend himself in Trump felt that he was doing a terrible job and was coming off as quite a week lane. Then, then, then Trump got on the phone to people and said and said that, that, that he thought Cavanaugh was probably abused by priests. As I say, this gallows humor. Yeah. We're going to take a quick break, and then I'll be back with more with Michael wolf. When we come back in just a minute. Today's show is brought to you by sound trap for storytellers a brand new one. Stop shop for high quality podcast creation, sound trap for storytellers is a cloud based podcast creation, tool a quipped with a wide range of intuitive features to allow for a smooth recording and production process features like easy editing with interactive transcript at your spoken word as a text document. And when you correct, the words, the audio will follow remote interviewing Sharon interview link with guests. So anyone can join your podcast remotely without needing to sign up and high quality recording on separate tracks even upload and publish your podcast and its transcript directly to Spotify to improve its discover ability sound trap for storytellers allows podcasters to focus on the art of storytelling by significantly reducing the time and investment typically needed to make podcasts sound professional, visit sound, trap dot com slash storytellers to learn more and use. The promo code kick. Ass news when you subscribe to get the first three months for free. Start creating your podcast today at sound trap dot com slash storytellers promo code kick. Ass news and now back to the show. I wanna ask you about some of the other players who are still in Trump's circle, particularly the vice president does don't Trump respect him at all. I know. I mean, he's, he's oh he he is constantly saying, saying strange things about about about the vice president like wondering why he looks at him. Like the way he looks at him and, and calling him a religious nut. And in this, this sort of follows a Trump pattern. You know when when, when people pay him, you know seem like sycophants of around him. He, he, he's, he's sort of he nearly always expresses their his contempt for them. And so, you know, there's a lot of people have speculated that he doesn't like the vice president because because he somehow somehow seize the vice president as, as plotting against him or waiting for his downfall to step up. But, but I think the real reason goes to this fact that he that he fundamentally. Feels the vice president is, is, is, is, again, a kind of a weakling in, even though you say that Mike Pence might not be planning against him. It sounds like his wife, Karen Pence has been quietly strategizing, behind the scenes, well, you know, in the White House, MRs Pence is is called mother by everyone. This is not this not said with affection. So she's kind of regarded as the power behind the, the, the vice presidential thrown as it were in about her, too. I think Trump at one point says says that she, you know, she gives me the creeps and she was behind the plotting when, when Trump nominated the, the white has Dr Ronnie Jackson to be the. Head of veterans affairs, and that was a weird White House story because he had been the doctrine, the White House, and then MRs Pence had gone to see him for, for a complaint guy, a gynecological problem. And then, and then, and then Dr Jackson sort of gossiped about this, and that got back to, to MRs Pence to mother. And, and she really led the, the campaign to, to derail his, his nomination to the head of veterans affairs in Trump's reaction depends slavish devotion to him as a good example of how Trump demands total servitude from his inner circle, and then once he gets it. He seems to become repulsed by their spinelessness, and Bannon actually get sort of philosophical on this point, and has an interesting theory that I think, probably says more. About Trump than anything. Do you know what I'm talking about? Could you explain that? Yeah. I mean he says, you know, basically says that Trump hates himself so much that, that, that, that he gets. He sees immediately through anybody who is who is syncophantic and slash toward him. Yes. So basically he has no respect for anyone who can't see through him. Yeah. No. There's a there's a kind of a funny bid about Sean Hannity, who, who is Sakib person in this White House, spends an enormous amount of time talking talking to Trump. But yet here again, you know, then Trump starts to starts to bad mouth Hannity because because he's giving him too much attention. Yet, and I wanna ask you about Hannity and Fox News to what degree do you think Trump is damaged the FOX brand and might have even been the reason for some of the rumors of a rift between Rupert? Murdoch and his sons, you know, I think it's a really interesting thing. That's that's happened there. Roger Ailes use the, the, the former head of the founder and former head of Fox News, you know, would always caution against giving even a Republican president, the, the, the ability to call the shots at the network. You know the network. He was always very clear. The network was was was calling the shots and dammit, the, the Republican president, a Republican president could fall in behind behind FOX, but not the other way around. And that's in the in in. That's really what's what's happened here. I mean, after Ailes ails, left after Trump was was elected you suddenly, you suddenly have a network, where Trump is literally calling the shots. He is the in, in some, some not too subtle way. He's communicating directly with the FOX control booth. Now, one of the marvels of this administration is how much diplomatic heavy lifting has been given to have all people Jared Kushner, who came to this job with no foreign policy experience. Does Jared see himself as a future secretary of state? Yeah. Well, he's they've he and his father in law have have discussed that on on at least several occasions, if not more, and it's, it's, it's extraordinary. I mean, essentially a Jared Kushner is involved on a daily basis talking to an ago sheeting with people in parts of the world, particularly the middle Middle East who he can. He will no doubt he no doubt counts on and will in the future return return to to finance his, his his businesses. We are ready. Are financing his businesses? I, I mean, I can't think of an example a more overt example of a of a of a compromise government in this. And do you think that it's his financial dealings that kept him from getting a security clearance? I think that there's that there's a lot of things one of the things I stories, I recount in the book is that is that Kushner was investigated investigated because he was accused of breaking and entering someone's apartment. And this was, this is a kind of a baroque story, you know, he has a Kushner has a kind of Lieutenant the guy who ran his newspaper in New York, who was in who had a very bad marital break-up, and his wife gave some information about this about about this break-up to her best friend. Who was a doctor at Mount Sinai hospital and in better times, this Jared's friends has gotten Jared to give this get this woman in apartment in one of the Trump buildings and she later accused Jared of using a pass key to come into her apartment to look for this incriminating information that he that, that might be in her possession, does the Kushner company come close to rivalling, the Trump organization for murky, foreign investors. Yeah, of course, in, you know, in it's not it's not exceptional. They're both sort of, you know, sea level real estate companies, and they all depend both, both the, the Trump organization, and the, in the Kushner, companies, they depend on, on their ability to get financing and financing. It's it's often hard. I mean. Often you have to go from. You know, you start you start wanting blue chip financing and then you start to go down the road. And, and you find yourself often well in the Middle East, and it's interesting that he seems to see himself as secretary of state because these delusions of grandeur seemed to be common among people in Trump's inner circle you say that Michael Cohen thought he was going to be chief of staff Bannon thinks he could run for president himself. It's as if Trump broke the seal when he however, improbably got elected to office for, which he was wholly unqualified. And he's inspired all the people around him to aspire to positions way above their pay grade. I think that that's a very smart way of looking looking at this. And also, you know, the greater context, is that, that, that none of these people have any experience in politics or government. So. Therefore, having made this extraordinary leap. I guess you, you, you assume you can keep making extraordinarily now one of the few people who's managed to make a graceful exit from the Trump administration and do so on her own terms was Nikki Haley, but you say that her departure was a deliberate slap in the face to Trump. What was the real reason for her exit? Well, I don't you know, she, she departed aside, I think twenty three days before the mid term election was a very public departure. You know, basically she was she was it was a condition of the of a situation, which the senior most woman in the administration was leaving just before the, the midterm elections. And in fact, she wasn't leaving before the midterm elections. She was planning to stay until January. So why? Couldn't she have left announced her departure a day after the election? So this was a very theatrical a moment for in which she established her independence, from Donald Trump, and she has become in, in many ways. She's the, she's the, the last best hope of the Republican party, or of the traditional of the leadership of the traditional Republican party as we've seen women in virtually all college educated women in most in many other women depart, the Republican party, she's the, she's the one person who certainly on a demographic basis. You might say can can begin to rebuild the, the, the Republican party's. The, the trust of women in the Republican party. And in this new book siege you actually expand on theory that you had hinted at last time around, which is the possibility of an affair between. Nikki Haley and Trump. Do you think that was real? Or was it just his imagination? You know, let me make sure, you know. No, I mean I got into trouble with, with, with fire and fear. That was not in fire and fury. But in the commentary after this could I could I because I had heard I had heard Trump telling many people that he and, and the Nikki Haley, the ambassador to the United Nations were were involved in a sexual relationship, and I, and I kind of during this book, I paid significantly more attention to this and, and kind of tracked down. I think what what happened and it was was one of those instances of which, I think my, my, my instinct, the president of the United States, says something to a lot of people is the president of the United States, you believe it. Sure. And in my kind of kind of work that. Back and, and, and you realize why would you believe this and many of the people who he had told this? When I went back to them. And I said, okay, what about this? He's saying Nikki Haley and perform this particular sex act on him. And, and, and I said, you know what, what are you? And they said, oh, no, he says this about everybody. This is this is how he that this is how he treats women. This is when, when, when he says, locker room talk that doesn't really mean that, that, that, that, that he's telling you the truth. In fact, actually, in most instances, Trump doesn't tell the truth about anything, but particularly this he is always talking about women. What he wants them to do to him what they have what he says they have done to him. And, you know, I think the conclusion is, is. Very clear here. You know, Trump's default is always to demean women in that has no relationship to the reality of, of what of what might actually have happened. It is just the one way, the only way he knows how to see women on the subject of Trump's improprieties with women. What is the Trump White House make of the whole metoo movement? I mean, somehow Trump seems to be the one person who hasn't been held to account for his behavior. Do you think that still could be his vengeful and doing, you know, certainly, I mean, it's the thing you never bring up me too. In the White House, you ever ever ever bring it up. And you know, Steve Bannon certainly thinks that it is one of those one of those bullets of the many bullets out there that are aimed at Trump that might actually one day, one day, hit him and Bannon was. Was was was one of the key figures in after the, the Hollywood access, you know, grabbed them by the pussy tape there were, there were a set of women. I think I think twenty five women who came out and said that Trump had had had harassed or, or even attack them in, in Bannon said, you know, they were lucky. They were able to sort of sort of mash or there were so many that everybody lost track of who was who was whom. But Bannon Bannon's point is that that was in a different climate and we're in a new climate now. And it is very possible that those women will will that some of those women will or other women, we'll be back and they will have and, and, and their stories will be not mashed together, but singular and clarion will work. Can you tell us about the most important woman, or I guess, maybe one of the two most important women in his life Milania is there something between them or is this just a marriage of convenience or an arrangement of sorts one of the people when in, in the White House and the people around him when, when you ask them about this, and this is not a not a subject than anyone? Particularly wants to talk about a for obvious reasons, but they almost all say they have never seen a, a marriage. And they talk about it, as you know, Tom Cruise, Katie Holmes deal. Malania doesn't really live in the White House. She really lives with her with her son, and her parents in a in a house in Maryland. You know, I'm a lot of people have have described the, you know, the. You know, having a turn away from how Trump treats his son, and that apparently is a is a is a major cause of, of, of distress in the in, in their marriage. You know he doesn't like his, his, his, his, his youngest son. I actually other people go on to say he doesn't like any of his sons, he treats them all badly? But I think that this is this has been, it's a particularly to say the least hard issue for for his wife at this point, there was all kinds of speculation when Milania was hospitalized for a week at Walter Reed. Do you have any idea what was going on there? You know, I, I write about it, and I try to get to the bottom of it. But I don't I just know that nobody a hundred percent thinks that, that the story on its face is true. I guess they're rumors of success. Purity footage of Trump beating Malania in the Los Angeles hotel elevator. What do we know about that? Just, you know, there's I mean nobody knows if this if this exists. But nevertheless, the they're the people around him. First thing are they don't at all discount that it might exist. And then they speculate when it might have happened in part of the speculation. Is that it happened at a after a visit to to a lawyer in Los Angeles when they were discussing renegotiating their pre? I mean, that's pretty unhinged stuff if that's true. I you know, I mean, I think I think the whole the whole message of this book certainly is, is that we are operating at, at the very least on the edge of the unhinged every day. Yeah. You say that a dozen different staffers, have expressed some. Along the lines of I've never met anyone as crazy as Donald Trump. So why do they work for him still? Well, I, I can even push that further that I, I think that almost everybody who has been in some kind of close contact with him over the last three years believes that there is something phenomenally fundamentally wrong here wrong with wrong with not just this the situation but wrong with him. And, you know, they work for we'll, we'll actually most of them no longer work for him. You know, the first the first wave of staffers, almost all of them left, the second wave of staffers, almost all of them left, the remaining people, you know, junior staffers have been promoted to senior staffers, and in, in some sense, the only. People who, who of, of significance who yet remain are, are Jared Kushner and his daughter, Ivanka. So I you know, I think you can kind of analyze that people. He's the president of the United States. And, and so at least in the beginning people went to work for him because he is the president of the United States at this point in time. I think it's very hard for him to get anyone to, to come in work with him in close proximity. You know, they had the, the Mick Mulvaney is the chief of staff now but he won't take the title of chief of staff. He's acting staff, and, and, and before that after John Kelly, John Kelly was was leaving Nick Ayers, who was the vice president's chief of staff was supposed to take over the job. And in fact, he did. But he started on on, on a Wednesday as. Just as, as John Kelly was transitioning out in by the sun, Sunday he quit, and untold people. He just, you know that this was all just too crazy for him, Michael beyond just the craziness of guy. I'll tell you the word. I always used to describe him as weird just. He's just plain weird even in the small things in everyday life. I can't think of an instance, where he does or says anything like normal person would I mean if I met him at a dinner party, I'd probably be creeped out. Why is he so weird? Well, you know, I recount on at a dinner party, there's a, there's a dinner party described in the in, in the book where there's, you know, the discussion was was, you know, I, I don't exactly know what the discussion was, but it involves a Viagra. And and, and Trump suddenly said in the middle of this discussion said, said said, I don't need a pill to make it go up. I need. Pill to make go down. So it is always that, that kind of thing, it's always, you know, not just a lack of fundamental manners and a fundamentally understanding how people relate to each other in a given situation. It's, it's a man who just believes everything revolves around him. And it just keeps kidding crazier and more interesting. I'm sure there'll be more than enough material for third at as of as of this moment, I would say, I hope not. But we'll see what happens. Well, once more the book is called siege. Trump under fire Michael Wolff. Thanks so much for docking with me. Thank you for having me. Thanks again. To Michael Wolfer coming on the podcast. Order his new book siege on Amazon audible, or wherever books are sold. The him on Twitter at, at Michael Wolff. Whatever struggles you're facing from depression, anxiety, trauma, and grief better. Help can connect you with a professional counselor in a safe and private online environment. It's so convenient you can schedule secure video, or phone sessions, as well as Chattan text with your therapist, and anything you share is completely confidential. Best of all, it's a truly affordable option. It cast news listeners even get ten percent off your first month with the discount code kick. So why not get started simply go to better help dot com slash kick and fill out a questionnaire to get matched with a counselor. You'll love today again that's better help dot com slash kick. Be sure to subscribe to kick ass news on apple podcasts if you haven't already. And if you like what you're hearing, then rate and review us while you're there, five star reviews or the easiest way for new listeners to find us, don't forget to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter at, at kick ass news, pod, and feel free to Email me with your thoughts questions and suggestions at comments at kick ass news dot com until next time. I'm Ben Mathis, and thanks for listening to kick ass news.

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