Taking a look inside the White House

Amelie Lee, Feature Editor

With page after page of juicy insider gossip, Michael Wolff’s “Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House” has been the center of attention for weeks, quickly rising to No. 1 on the New York Times best selling list. Highlighting commentary about the president’s ignorance and inability to lead, the book goes into detail about the tumultuous relationships between Trump and his staff as well as his questionable handling of the Russia investigation and North Korea situation.

There’s no denying that drama is difficult to resist, even if the actual facts are alarming. When the subject of such gossip is the executive branch of the United States, however, there should be serious consideration and concern about the lack of professionalism, experience and sheer lack of common sense currently leading our country.

Following the first year of Trump’s presidency, the book describes the confusion and difficulties the White House faced as issue after issue was mishandled. As the year progresses, Wolff explores the perspectives of those around Trump exasperated with his petulant way of handling the country.

Although it reads like a gossip magazine, the book raises more cause for alarm than entertainment.
Since the 1970’s Wolff has written for New York Times and started his own book publishing company. Despite winning the National Magazine Award three times, Wolff has been called out for fabricating quotes and misrepresenting his subjects. Conducting over 200 interviews in the White House since Trump’s election, Wolff seems to have had unfettered access to the president and his administration. With their lack of experience, the administration never gave a second glance to the journalist lounging outside the Oval Office for months.

While little thought was given to Wolff as he interviewed staff–from former chief strategist Steve Bannon to Donald J. Trump himself–the publication of the book came with an explosive reaction from White House administration. Calling it “trashy tabloid fiction” and even attempting to stop it from publication, Trump has only spurred the book’s popularity with his intense reaction.
From the size of his inauguration crowd to the authenticity of the Billy Bush tape, Trump has dismissed negative press as fake time after time. However when it comes to Wolff’s book, straightening out truth from lies is necessary.

With a questionable history of journalistic exaggeration and fabrication, Wolff has been placed under fire for mixing up several names and titles in the book. Due to the misspelling of a couple names and confusing Washington Post reporter Mark Berman with lobbyist Mike Berman, Wolff’s entire book has been called into question.

Despite its factual inconsistencies, the overall narrative in the book holds true and cannot be dismissed. Wolff’s portrayal of Trump as a temperamental sheltered child provides a firsthand confirmation of what most of the public already suspected: our president is unfit for his position. Through his unflattering imagery of the White House, Wolff paints a picture of a staff unimpressed with their boss, with much of the most scathing criticism from Bannon himself.

Wolff’s inside reporting of the administration exposes that while many Republicans idealize Trump as the hope this country needs, his staff is barely holding on. The book quotes Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, presidential adviser Kellyanne Conway and even family members Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump as seeing the president as unstable and incompetent.

While not every statement in the book is to be taken as complete truth, “Fire and Fury” provides the public with evidence that even the president’s closest advisors understand how badly out of his depth the commander in chief is. The president’s unrelenting hatred toward the book stands as a reminder of what he’s trying to deny to the public– that the man who has nuclear weapons and the strongest army in the world at his disposal has no idea what he’s doing.