- Michael Wolff, the man who wrote a revealing book on the Trump administration, shared what it was like to watch White House staff interact with President Donald Trump.
- In an interview that aired Monday night, Wolff said: “You cannot listen to this man talk without at least contemplating the possibility that something is grievously amiss.”
- Trump’s mental health and acuity are among the many discussions in Wolff’s book, “Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House.”
The author Michael Wolff, who wrote the Trump administration tell-all book that has both riveted and enraged critics and supporters of President Donald Trump over the last week, made some revealing assertions about Trump in an interview that aired Monday night.
Wolff talked about his experience watching West Wing staffers engaging with, and talking to, Trump while he observed the president’s first few months in office last year. He told CNN’s Don Lemon that those conversations had prompted some concerns about the president’s mental health and acuity.
“I am just reporting the facts on the ground,” Wolff said of the time he spent conducting interviews and observing administration officials in the White House. “You don’t have to be a doctor to find it notable and alarming – as everyone on his staff does – that he repeats, and repeats, and repeats the same thing, in the same conversation.”
“I mean, everybody has to stand there and look like this is not a crisis,” Wolff said.
People close to Trump, including his family members, have vehemently rejected speculation about his health. When Trump was a candidate in 2016, he released a letter from his personal doctor that claimed he was in “excellent health.”
But Wolff painted a picture of White House staff working to shield Trump from situations that may expose him to such scrutiny. “In September, they canceled a ’60 Minutes’ interview because they felt he couldn’t do it,” Wolff said. “They went, instead, did a ‘Hannity’ interview because [Sean] Hannity would give them the questions.
“I know Hannity denies this, of course, but it was an open secret in the White House that he got the questions,” Wolff added.
“If you interviewed the president, you would call me up and say, ‘oh, my God,'” Wolff told Lemon, referring to suspicions about Trump’s mental health.
When Lemon asked Wolff if he had the same thought when he interviewed Trump, Wolff said yes.
“Because it’s completely alarming. The guy can’t go put one coherent sentence after another. He’s off, he can’t stay on subject, he can’t stay on point – and then you come back to the same off-point thing he said five minutes ago, he’s now saying it again.”
Wolff noted that some people in the administration tend to loosely reference the 25th Amendment – the constitutional provision that allows 14 specific people to remove a sitting president from office – when talking about Trump’s words and actions. He called the question “unavoidable.” Lemon asked him to explain why.
“You cannot listen to this man talk without at least contemplating the possibility that something is grievously amiss.”
Watch a portion of the interview below:
Michael Wolff defends raising questions about Trump's mental fitness: "You don’t have to be a doctor to find it notable and alarming that — as everyone on his staff does, that he repeats and repeats and repeats the same thing in the same conversation" https://t.co/5zNclN7m66
— CNN Tonight (@CNNTonight) January 9, 2018
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