Michael Wolff defends Trump book in fiery CNN interview

"Fire and Fury" author Michael Wolff defended his ...

Posted: Jan 14, 2018 3:35 PM
Updated: Jan 14, 2018 3:35 PM

"Fire and Fury" author Michael Wolff defended his controversial best-seller about the Trump administration Saturday, accusing CNN's Michael Smerconish of "doing the work of the White House" when questioned about his methods of gaining access to the President and his team.

Smerconish pressed Wolff about his comments this week to NBC's Savannah Guthrie in which the writer admitted he had "certainly said whatever was necessary to get the story."

CNN's Michael Smerconish questions author about methods of gaining access

Wolff accuses Smerconish of "doing the work of the White House"

"What did that mean?" Smerconish asked.

"Well, I don't know," Wolff said initially, before going on to explain, "I did not say, 'You know I hate you and I'm opposed to you and good riddance to you, as much of the media has basically said. I went in and said actually what I believed, which was, 'Show me what you're doing, tell me what you want to do, let's see if this can work.' So I think that I projected to the White House an amount of honest openness."

Woolf insisted he had never misrepresented his objective or his feelings about President Donald Trump to get access.

The explosive book detailing White House chaos and incompetence has sparked a furor since its early release late last week. Trump attempted to halt the book's publication, threatening Wolff and publisher Henry Halt with a lawsuit.

Questions also have been raised over fact-checking procedures for the book and the use of unnamed sources.

"Did you tell them that your objective was to humanize the President? That nobody was doing that? That you personally liked the President? That you'd be able to change perceptions about the President and that you hoped to interview him in a relaxed state?" Smerconish asked Woolf.

"I probably said, 'Yes, that I wanted to humanize the President,' which I wanted to do," Wolff said.

"How much access did you have to the President? Were there any interviews at all for the book?" Smerconish continued.

"I have spent about three hours in one-on-one conversations with the President during the campaign, the transition and in the White House," Wolff said.

Smerconish challenged Wolff, citing an email chain he had seen that seemed to contradict the author.

"From the paper trail that I've seen ... it doesn't seem like there was any interview you were afforded for the book per se," he said.

Wolff responded angrily, accusing Smerconish of following in the administration's footsteps.

"The White House has been on a concerted attack on me since this book came out ... a totally incompetent attack, which so far has found a few typos and turned this book into the best-selling book in the world. But you are now doing the job of the White House," he told Smerconish.

As a fellow journalist, Smerconish said that he had found Wolff's methods "unusual."

"I know that when I write e-mails seeking interviews, my word choice is to say, I will treat the individual with dignity and respect. I never go so far as to say let me humanize, you know I like the person, I'm the one who can change the perceptions," he said.

But Wolff insisted that people should just read "Fire and Fury."

"I have written the book. You either like it or you don't like it. So far it quite seems that many, many, many, many people do like it, and it speaks to them," he said.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 313166

Reported Deaths: 7228
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto21496257
Hinds20294414
Harrison17814309
Rankin13573278
Jackson13411246
Madison10066217
Lee9962173
Jones8364163
Forrest7649152
Lauderdale7181240
Lowndes6370145
Lamar621686
Lafayette6171118
Washington5323133
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Warren4380121
Pontotoc419572
Monroe4100133
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Hancock377786
Leflore3487125
Sunflower335790
Tate332484
Pike3301105
Scott315373
Alcorn311968
Yazoo310769
Itawamba299477
Copiah296465
Simpson294788
Coahoma294379
Tippah287768
Prentiss279560
Adams269582
Marion268880
Leake266273
Wayne262341
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George246848
Newton246061
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Jasper220848
Attala214173
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Holmes188673
Clay184754
Stone182033
Tallahatchie178140
Clarke177879
Calhoun170132
Yalobusha163337
Smith162234
Walthall133845
Greene130333
Lawrence128323
Montgomery126742
Noxubee126734
Perry125938
Amite122842
Carroll121728
Webster114532
Jefferson Davis106932
Tunica104826
Claiborne102230
Benton99125
Humphreys96133
Kemper95428
Franklin83623
Quitman80216
Choctaw76118
Wilkinson66930
Jefferson65428
Sharkey50317
Issaquena1686
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Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 530988

Reported Deaths: 10978
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson765291522
Mobile40971804
Madison34751503
Tuscaloosa25775452
Montgomery24329589
Shelby23431249
Baldwin21131308
Lee15884171
Calhoun14501314
Morgan14293279
Etowah13831353
Marshall12222223
Houston10567281
Elmore10061205
Limestone9960151
Cullman9664193
St. Clair9655243
Lauderdale9424241
DeKalb8830186
Talladega8223176
Walker7235277
Autauga6920108
Jackson6810112
Blount6660137
Colbert6298134
Coffee5511119
Dale4831111
Russell441138
Chilton4290112
Franklin425782
Covington4121118
Tallapoosa4027152
Escambia393376
Chambers3563123
Dallas3551151
Clarke351061
Marion3118101
Pike310877
Lawrence300298
Winston274472
Bibb260764
Geneva249977
Marengo249764
Pickens234461
Barbour230857
Hale222977
Butler215969
Fayette212362
Henry188744
Cherokee184845
Randolph180241
Monroe177440
Washington167339
Macon159150
Clay156256
Crenshaw152257
Cleburne148941
Lamar142535
Lowndes138853
Wilcox127130
Bullock123041
Conecuh110529
Perry107726
Coosa107228
Sumter104532
Greene92334
Choctaw60624
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