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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: 482902

Reported Deaths: 9425
CountyCasesDeaths
Harrison33063488
Hinds31021589
DeSoto30610358
Jackson23687348
Rankin21340370
Lee14909220
Madison14166271
Jones13404227
Forrest13160240
Lauderdale11601305
Lowndes10443176
Lamar10214130
Pearl River9098221
Lafayette8241137
Hancock7514112
Washington7102150
Oktibbeha6964124
Monroe6514164
Neshoba6475201
Warren6464164
Pontotoc630393
Panola6250126
Marshall6126123
Bolivar6115144
Union574186
Pike5613136
Alcorn537290
Lincoln5303131
George471472
Scott459196
Leflore4476140
Prentiss446779
Tippah446480
Itawamba4444100
Adams4416116
Tate4394101
Simpson4335112
Wayne433066
Copiah431787
Yazoo423386
Covington415792
Sunflower4148104
Marion4099104
Leake397586
Coahoma3957100
Newton370875
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Stone350860
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Attala325387
Jasper314162
Winston304691
Clay296473
Chickasaw287065
Clarke282190
Calhoun266141
Holmes262187
Smith250649
Yalobusha221047
Tallahatchie220450
Walthall211058
Greene209045
Lawrence206833
Perry199953
Amite198452
Webster196542
Noxubee178939
Montgomery172454
Jefferson Davis168342
Carroll162137
Tunica153334
Benton142535
Kemper138640
Choctaw127026
Claiborne126834
Humphreys126637
Franklin116728
Quitman103926
Wilkinson101936
Jefferson91333
Sharkey63020
Issaquena1926
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 789054

Reported Deaths: 14022
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson1115991765
Mobile708511234
Madison49865633
Shelby36274315
Baldwin36242495
Tuscaloosa33931548
Montgomery33190678
Lee22680220
Calhoun21211410
Morgan19816335
Etowah19300462
Marshall17680274
Houston16823386
St. Clair15442305
Cullman14602258
Limestone14581188
Elmore14480264
Lauderdale13520281
Talladega12958236
DeKalb12199237
Walker10588330
Blount9720157
Autauga9667137
Jackson9385158
Coffee8882175
Dale8609173
Colbert8534184
Tallapoosa6673181
Escambia6591121
Covington6452167
Chilton6385144
Russell607255
Franklin5795101
Chambers5416134
Marion4800120
Dallas4705189
Clarke463279
Pike462397
Geneva4413117
Winston425895
Lawrence4117108
Bibb409381
Barbour347270
Marengo326285
Monroe320053
Butler318290
Randolph305956
Pickens305274
Henry301858
Hale292685
Cherokee289855
Fayette279673
Washington245448
Crenshaw238470
Cleburne235851
Clay228565
Macon220158
Lamar197743
Conecuh182046
Lowndes170758
Coosa170235
Wilcox159736
Bullock149243
Perry136537
Sumter124536
Greene121443
Choctaw73427
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