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“George W. Bush, on the dais, supplied what seemed likely to become the historic footnote to the Trump address: “That’s some weird shit.”
Michael Wolff, Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House
“He sent his new press secretary, Sean Spicer—whose personal mantra would shortly become “You can’t make this shit up”—to argue his case in a media moment that turned Spicer, quite a buttoned-down political professional, into a national joke, which he seemed destined to never recover from. To boot, the president blamed Spicer for not making the million phantom souls seem real.”
Michael Wolff, Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House
“The Breitbart formula was to so appall the liberals that the base was doubly satisfied, generating clicks in a ricochet of disgust and delight. You defined yourself by your enemy’s reaction. Conflict was the media bait—hence, now, the political chum. The new politics was not the art of the compromise but the art of conflict.”
Michael Wolff, Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House
“Early in the campaign, in a Producers-worthy scene, Sam Nunberg was sent to explain the Constitution to the candidate: “I got as far as the Fourth Amendment before his finger is pulling down on his lip and his eyes are rolling back in his head.”
Michael Wolff, Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House
“The charge that Trump colluded with the Russians to win the election, which he scoffed at, was, in the estimation of some of his friends, a perfect example of his inability to connect the dots.”
Michael Wolff, Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House
“Trump liked to portray his business as an empire, it was actually a discrete holding company and boutique enterprise, catering more to his peculiarities as proprietor and brand representative than to any bottom line or other performance measures.”
Michael Wolff, Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House
“Once, coming back on his plane with a billionaire friend who had brought along a foreign model, Trump, trying to move in on his friend’s date, urged a stop in Atlantic City. He would provide a tour of his casino. His friend assured the model that there was nothing to recommend Atlantic City. It was a place overrun by white trash. “What is this ‘white trash’?” asked the model. “They’re people just like me,” said Trump, “only they’re poor.”
Michael Wolff, Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House
“on the most basic level, Trump just did not, as Spicer later put it, give a fuck. You could tell him whatever you wanted, but he knew what he knew, and if what you said contradicted what he knew, he simply didn’t believe you.”
Michael Wolff, Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House
“But not only didn’t he read, he didn’t listen. He preferred to be the person talking. And he trusted his own expertise—no matter how paltry or irrelevant—more than anyone else’s. What’s more, he had an extremely short attention span, even when he thought you were worthy of attention”
Michael Wolff, Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House
“Politics had seemed to become, even well before the age of Trump, a mortal affair. It was now zero-sum: When one side profited, another lost. One side’s victory was another’s death. The old notion that politics was a trader’s game, an understanding that somebody else had something you wanted—a vote, goodwill, old-fashioned patronage—and that in the end the only issue was cost, had gone out of fashion. Now it was a battle between good and evil.”
Michael Wolff, Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House
“A close Trump friend who was also a good Bill Clinton friend found them eerily similar—except that Clinton had a respectable front and Trump did not. One manifestation of this outlaw personality, for both Trump and Clinton, was their brand of womanizing—and indeed, harassing. Even among world-class womanizers and harassers, they seemed exceptionally free of doubt or hesitation.”
Michael Wolff, Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House
“Trump lived, like Hulk Hogan, as a real-life fictional character.”
Michael Wolff, Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House
“After all, Ailes was perhaps the person most responsible for unleashing the angry-man currents of Trump’s victory: he had invented the right-wing media that delighted in the Trump character.”
Michael Wolff, Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House
“The campaign, on its face, was not designed to win anything.”
Michael Wolff, Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House
“Bannon described Trump as a simple machine. The On switch was full of flattery, the Off switch full of calumny.”
Michael Wolff, Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House
“There was no real up-and-down structure, but merely a figure at the top and then everyone else scrambling for his attention. It wasn’t task-based so much as response-oriented—whatever captured the boss’s attention focused everybody’s attention.”
Michael Wolff, Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House
“Reince Priebus, getting ready to shift over from the RNC to the White House, noted, with alarm, how often Trump offered people jobs on the spot, many of whom he had never met before, for positions whose importance Trump did not particularly understand.”
Michael Wolff, Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House
“PayPal cofounder and Facebook board member Peter Thiel—really the only significant Silicon Valley voice to support Trump—was warned by another billionaire and longtime Trump friend that Trump would, in an explosion of flattery, offer Thiel his undying friendship. Everybody says you’re great, you and I are going to have an amazing working relationship, anything you want, call me and we’ll get it done! Thiel was advised not to take Trump’s offer too seriously. But Thiel, who gave a speech supporting Trump at the Republican Convention in Cleveland, reported back that, even having been forewarned, he absolutely was certain of Trump’s sincerity when he said they’d be friends for life—only never to basically hear from him again or have his calls returned.”
Michael Wolff, Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House
“Trump talked nonstop and constantly repeated himself. “Here’s the deal,” a close Trump associate told Priebus. “In an hour meeting with him you’re going to hear fifty-four minutes of stories and they’re going to be the same stories over and over again. So you have to have one point to make and you have to pepper it in whenever you can.”
Michael Wolff, Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House
“Time spent with Trump on the campaign plane was often an epic dissing experience: everybody around him was an idiot.”
Michael Wolff, Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House
“On the other hand, constant hysteria did have one unintended political virtue. If every new event canceled out every other event, like some wacky news-cycle pyramid scheme, then you always survived another day.”
Michael Wolff, Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House
“rent-in-the-fabric-of-time president-elect,”
Michael Wolff, Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House
“Indeed, while everybody in his rich-guy social circle knew about his wide-ranging ignorance—Trump, the businessman, could not even read a balance sheet, and Trump, who had campaigned on his deal-making skills, was, with his inattention to details, a terrible negotiator—they yet found him somehow instinctive. That was the word. He was a force of personality. He could make you believe.”
Michael Wolff, Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House
“Trump, despite his disappointment at Washington’s failure to properly greet and celebrate him, was, like a good salesman, an optimist. Salesmen, whose primary characteristic and main asset is their ability to keep selling, constantly recast the world in positive terms. Discouragement for everyone else is merely the need to improve reality for them.”
Michael Wolff, Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House
“With the inauguration of Donald Trump on January 20, 2017, the United States entered the eye of the most extraordinary political storm since at least Watergate.”
Michael Wolff, Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House
“Don’t let him piss off the press, don’t let him piss off the Republican Party, don’t threaten congressmen because they will fuck you if you do, and most of all don’t let him piss off the intel community,” said one national Republican figure to Kushner. “If you fuck with the intel community they will figure out a way to get back at you and you’ll have two or three years of a Russian investigation, and every day something else will leak out.”
Michael Wolff, Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House
“It had personally pained Trump not to be able to give it to him. But if the Republican establishment had not wanted Trump, they had not wanted Christie almost as much. So Christie got the job of leading the transition and the implicit promise of a central job—attorney general or chief of staff. But when he was the federal prosecutor in New Jersey, Christie had sent Jared’s father, Charles Kushner, to jail in 2005. Charlie Kushner, pursued by the feds for an income tax cheat, set up a scheme with a prostitute to blackmail his brother-in-law, who was planning to testify against him. Various accounts, mostly offered by Christie himself, make Jared the vengeful hatchet man in Christie’s aborted Trump administration career. It was a kind of perfect sweet-revenge story: the son of the wronged man (or, in this case—there’s little dispute—the guilty-as-charged man) uses his power over the man who wronged his family. But other accounts offer a subtler and in a way darker picture. Jared Kushner, like sons-in-law everywhere, tiptoes around his father-in-law, carefully displacing as little air as possible: the massive and domineering older man, the reedy and pliant younger one. In the revised death-of-Chris-Christie story, it is not the deferential Jared who strikes back, but—in some sense even more satisfying for the revenge fantasy—Charlie Kushner himself who harshly demands his due. It was his daughter-in-law who held the real influence in the Trump circle, who delivered the blow. Ivanka told her father that Christie’s appointment as chief of staff or to any other high position would be extremely difficult for her and her family, and it would be best that Christie be removed from the Trump orbit altogether.”
Michael Wolff, Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House
“As Walsh saw it, Steve Bannon was running the Steve Bannon White House, Jared Kushner was running the Michael Bloomberg White House, and Reince Priebus was running the Paul Ryan White House. It was a 1970s video game, the white ball pinging back and forth in the black triangle.”
Michael Wolff, Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House
“The Trump campaign had, perhaps less than inadvertently, replicated the scheme from Mel Brooks’s The Producers. In that classic, Brooks’s larcenous and dopey heroes, Max Bialystock and Leo Bloom, set out to sell more than 100 percent of the ownership stakes in the Broadway show they are producing. Since they will be found out only if the show is a hit, everything about the show is premised on its being a flop. Accordingly, they create a show so outlandish that it actually succeeds, thus dooming our heroes.”
Michael Wolff, Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House
“The story of Trump was the story of how he tried to make himself a story. He was shameless, campy, and instructive: if you were willing to risk humiliation, the world could be yours. Trump became the objective correlative for the rising appetite for fame and notoriety. Trump came to believe he understood everything about the media—who you need to know, what pretense you need to maintain, what information you could profitably trade, what lies you might tell, what lies the media expected you to tell. And the media came to believe it knew everything about Trump—his vanities, delusions, and lies, and the levels, uncharted, to which he would stoop for ever more media attention.”
Michael Wolff, Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House

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