While the current administration has inspired numerous books that purport to be exclusive insider’s looks at life in the Trump White House, the most salacious and controversial of these gossipy tomes comes from author Michael Wolff.
Wolff’s first book Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House — released at the beginning of last year — provided a portrait of a dysfunctional administration, using material the author gathered by interviewing senior White House staffers while lurking around the West Wing acting as a “fly on the wall’ during the first year of the Trump presidency.
After the White House challenged Wolff’s account with their typical dismissal of it as “fake news,” many thought that it would be doubtful that Wolff could convince people in Trump’s inner circle to cooperate for a follow-up.
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Yet, somehow Wolff did manage to get enough people to speak with him again to gather the latest set of revelations contained in his new book, Siege: Trump Under Fire, which was officially released today.
Among the many new allegations that the author makes in the book, some of the most damning concern President Trump’s family and personal life, particularly his marriage to Melania.
Wolff portrays the Trumps’ marriage — as many in the public have suspected — as purely a business relationship. He describes Melania as living a “separate life” from her husband and fiercely trying to protect their son Barron from the “ill wind” that his father brings.
One particularly unflattering anecdote concerns Melania’s mysterious trip to Walter Reed Medical Center last May when she disappeared from the White House without any real explanation from the administration.
According to Wolff, then Chief of Staff John Kelly asked President Trump what was happening, to which he reportedly replied:
“Nobody cares except the media…She’s the First Lady, not the President.”
Wolff also portrays the First Lady as extremely unhappy with her life in the White House, frequently telling her friends that “we don’t belong here” and saying that she preferred the luxurious comforts of Trump Tower in New York City.
He also claims that Melania prefers to speak Slovenian, her native language, to Barron as a way of isolating him from his father.
Another anecdote helps explain why Melania may be so protective of their son.
Claiming that the president has a “fetish” about being the tallest person in the room, Wolff says that when Barron had an adolescent growth spurt when he turned 12, Trump reportedly joked “How do I stunt his growth?”
That the comment was more than a joke is suggested by Wolff’s claims that after the sudden challenge to his stature, the president treated his son with “hostility” and “went out of his way” to avoid him.
Wolff’s reporting on the president’s relationship with his other children is equally unfavorable, except for his obvious favor for Ivanka, whom he is said to always greet by saying “Hey, baby.”
The author claims that Trump always singled out Don. Jr. for ridicule and failed to acknowledge the presence of his son Eric when they were together.
As far as his daughter Tiffany goes, she may as well not exist given the president’s complete failure to ever mention her according to Wolff’s account of the Trump family dynamic.
While the Trump administration will likely deny every detail that Wolff includes in his book, his insider sources lend his account the kind of credibility that Trump’s behavior and personality only confirm, leading most people to accept his portrayal of the Trump family as perfectly believable.
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Original reporting by Daniel Bates at The Daily Mail.