Donald Trump goes to bed with a cheeseburger at 6:30pm, shouts at staff who pick his shirts off the floor and watches three televisions at once as he rants on the phone about the unfair media, an explosive new book has revealed.
In the last year, the president has hit the headlines for his deluge of rash, offensive tweets, faced further accusations of sexual assault and found himself under scrutiny as part of the Special Counsel Russia probe.
But despite multiple reports of a presidency in chaos, Trump maintained the White House was running perfectly smoothly.
Now, in his forthcoming book, Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House, author Michael Wolff gives a behind-the-scenes look at the tumultuous first months of the administration.
The book, due out next Tuesday, was based on more than 200 interviews with Trump, senior White House staffers and confidantes conducted by Wolff, a contributing editor for The Hollywood Reporter, according to publisher Henry Holt.
Here are some of the most explosive excerpts, published on Tuesday in New York Magazine.
Trump eats cheeseburgers in bed while watching three TVs
Wolff says the President found the White House to be “vexing – even a little scary”.
Trump allegedly shuts himself away from his staff in his bedroom, and reportedly reprimands cleaning staff who try to pick his shirts up off the floor.
Wolff writes: “If he was not having his 6:30pm dinner with Steve Bannon, then, more to his liking, he was in bed by that time with a cheeseburger, watching his three screens and making phone calls – the phone was his true contact point with the world – to a small group of friends, who charted his rising and falling levels of agitation through the evening and then compared notes with one another.”
“If my shirt is on the floor, it’s because I want it on the floor,” Trump allegedly said.
He would even strip his own bed and let housekeeping know when he wanted his sheets washed, Wolff says in a set of unsourced claims.
Trump also told staff not to touch anything – especially not his toothbrush – as he is allegedly notoriously afraid of being poisoned.
Trump never wanted to win the election
Wolff claims that no one – not Trump nor anyone involved in his campaign – believed he would win the election.
Trump, he says, did not WANT to win, either. Moreover, no one believed he SHOULD.
Wolff writes: “As the campaign came to an end, Trump himself was sanguine. His ultimate goal, after all, had never been to win. “I can be the most famous man in the world,” he had told his aide Sam Nunberg at the outset of the race…
“…Once he lost, Trump would be both insanely famous and a martyr to Crooked Hillary. His daughter Ivanka and son-in-law Jared would be international celebrities. Steve Bannon would become the de facto head of the tea-party movement. Kellyanne Conway would be a cable-news star. Melania Trump , who had been assured by her husband that he wouldn’t become president, could return to inconspicuously lunching. Losing would work out for everybody. Losing was winning.”
Trump ‘looked like he’d seen a ghost’ when he won – and Melania cried
However, as the votes came in on the night of November 8, 2016, and the election seemed to be turning in Trump’s favour, disbelief turned into horror.
Wolff writes: “Shortly after 8pm on Election Night, when the unexpected trend – Trump might actually win – seemed confirmed, Don Jr. told a friend that his father, or DJT, as he calls him, looked as if he had seen a ghost. Melania was in tears—and not of joy.”
Ivanka wants to be first woman president
Balancing risk against reward, both Jared and Ivanka decided to accept roles in the West Wing over the advice of almost everyone they knew.
It was a joint decision by the couple, and, in some sense, a joint job. Between themselves, the two had made an earnest deal: If sometime in the future the opportunity arose, she’d be the one to run for president. The first woman president, Ivanka entertained, would not be Hillary Clinton; it would be Ivanka Trump.
Ivanka reveals secret behind Trump’s combover
Wolff details Ivanka Trump’s business-like relationship with her father which, he says, is “in no way conventional”.
The writer claims the First Daughter even mocks her dad’s hair – revealing the secret behind the much-ridiculed combover.
“She often described the mechanics behind it to friends: an absolutely clean pate – a contained island after scalp-reduction surgery – surrounded by a furry circle of hair around the sides and front, from which all ends are drawn up to meet in the center and then swept back and secured by a stiffening spray.
“The color, she would point out to comical effect, was from a product called Just for Men – the longer it was left on, the darker it got. Impatience resulted in Trump’s orange-blond hair color.”
Rupert Murdoch thinks Trump is a “f***ing idiot”
Wolff paints a picture of Trump desperately trying to curry favour with media mogul Rupert Murdoch.
The pair reportedly spent much time on the phone following the election, where Trump would ask the newspaper chief his opinion.
Recounting one conversation, after Trump had met with Silicone Valley delegates, Wolff writes: “Murdoch suggested that taking a liberal approach to H-1B visas, which open America’s doors to select immigrants, might be hard to square with his promises to build a wall and close the borders. But Trump seemed unconcerned, assuring Murdoch, “We’ll figure it out.”
“‘What a f***ing idiot,’ said Murdoch, shrugging, as he got off the phone.”
Trump Tower Russia meeting ‘treason’
Former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon called a meeting with a group of Russians attended by Donald Trump Jr. and his father’s top campaign officials “treasonous” and “unpatriotic.”
Bannon expressed derision and astonishment over the meeting in Trump Tower in New York in which a Russian lawyer was said to be offering damaging information about Hillary Clinton.
The meeting arranged by Trump’s son also included Kushner and then-campaign chairman Paul Manafort.
Bannon told Wolff: “The three senior guys in the campaign thought it was a good idea to meet with a foreign government inside Trump Tower in the conference room on the 25th floor – with no lawyers. They didn’t have any lawyers.
“Even if you thought that this was not treasonous, or unpatriotic, or bad s**t, and I happen to think it’s all of that, you should have called the FBI immediately.”