After the release from The Guardian and New York Magazine of excerpts from Michael Wolff’s upcoming, Fire and Fury, the book is dominating the news cycle and has led to a surge of attention for the upcoming book. The book rose to #1 on Amazon’s list of bestselling books and the publisher, Henry Holt & Co., has announced that they are moving up the book’s release to tomorrow, four days ahead of schedule.
The White House has been in damage control over the story. On Thursday morning, Charles Harder, a lawyer for President Donald Trump, sent a cease-and-desist letter to Henry Holt over the book’s publication. The publisher acknowledged receiving the letter, but said in a statement, “We see ‘Fire and Fury’ as an extraordinary contribution to our national discourse, and are proceeding with the publication of the book.” The letter came a day after Harder sent a similar letter to Bannon.
Harder is a well-known figure to journalists. He represented Hulk Hogan in the wrestler’s lawsuit against Gawker that ultimately led to the website shuttering.
Related: Read TKNN’s review of Wolff’s previous book, Television is the New Television.
The topic also dominated the White House press briefing on Wednesday and Thursday. On Thursday, White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said that the President does not believe the book should be published, but that the President also believes in the First Amendment.
Despite the high amount of publicity regarding Wolff’s book, there are still lingering questions about the validity of all the claims. Several journalists have taken issue with Wolff writing that Trump did not know how former Speaker John Boehner was, pointing to his several tweets about the former Speaker of the House. The introduction to Fire and Fury states, “Many of the accounts of what has happened in the Trump White House are in conflict with one another; many, in Trumpian fashion, are baldly untrue.” Furthermore, New York Magazine provided an editor’s note on Wolff’s sourcing which said in part:
In true Trumpian fashion, the administration’s lack of experience and disdain for political norms made for a hodgepodge of journalistic challenges. Information would be provided off-the-record or on deep background, then casually put on the record. Sources would fail to set any parameters on the use of a conversation, or would provide accounts in confidence, only to subsequently share their views widely. And the president’s own views, private as well as public, were constantly shared by others.