Wolff cry's wolf in his Fire and Fury book

Michael Barone:
The most disappointed people in America this last week must be those execrators of President Trump who opened their Amazon package only to find that the copy of Fire and Fury they had ordered was subtitled The Allied Bombing of Germany, 1942-1945. It’s a well regarded 2009 volume by University of Toronto historian Randall Hansen, who is surely grateful for the unanticipated royalties.

But it’s not the red meat the customer was looking forward to consuming. Author Michael Wolff, whose royalties from a million sales in a week are much greater than Hansen’s, has made no secret that he expects his book will “end” the Trump presidency. He apparently thinks his book will reveal to millions of Americans, for the first time, that their emperor has no clothes.

That’s unlikely to happen, for two reasons. One is that his Fire and Fury is laced with errors that reveal that the author, however knowledgeable about Manhattan media moguls, doesn’t know much about national politics. Dick Armey was never speaker of the House, Kellyanne Conway was not a “downballot” pollster, Trump was not ignorant of existence of House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio.

Wolff affects a Trump-like insouciance about such inaccuracies. “If it rings true, it is true,” he told NBC’s Katy Tur. She responded, “Congratulations on the book and congratulations on the president hating it.”

The other reason Wolff’s ambitions may prove as unfulfilled as those of the former Trump aide who appears to have been his chief source, Steve Bannon, is that the gist of his indictment — to the extent it’s not fake news — is simply not news. Americans today, like American voters in November 2016, are aware that President Trump makes outrageous and inaccurate statements.

They know that his White House, like his campaign, is often in shambles, as have been many other presidential campaigns (read Jonathan Allen and Amie Parnes’s Shattered on Hillary Clinton’s 2016 campaign) and first-year White Houses (go back and read about the Bill Clinton White House in 1993). No one supposes Trump has the discipline and gravitas of a Dwight Eisenhower. But neither have most of his successors.

Fire and Fury can be seen as the latest attempt to overturn the result of the 2016 election. Others have not fared well. Entertainers’ attempts to persuade presidential electors not to vote for their pledged candidate failed. And the charges that Trump secured his victory by “collusion” with Russian President Vladimir Putin seem to be fizzling out. Instead, evidence suggests — but does not yet prove — that the Obama FBI used the Clinton campaign-financed, Fusion GPS-managed, Christopher Steele-compiled dossier to undermine Trump.
 Wolff was so focused on his obvious animus against Trump that he missed the story on the biggest political scandal in US history, where Democrat opposition research based on paid for hearsay from Russia was used by the FBI and DOJ to spy on Trump campaign by dressing it up to look like intel. Wolff merely added his effort to that of others who have tried to overturn the election results.  I am still trying to figure out why Bannon helped him.


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