Michael Wolff’s “Siege: Trump Under Fire” looks at the 45th president’s second year in office, detailing everything from a potential indictment to Melania Trump’s mysterious hospitalization.
It’s the follow-up to Wolff’s “Fire and Fury,” and though this installment likely won’t reach the commercial heights of its predecessor, it’s certainly not lacking in titillating reveals. Several passages have already been put into question, with the Justice Department and a representative of Robert Mueller denying claims of an alleged indictment and Fox News firing back at the author for accusing the network of feeding questions to Brett Kavanaugh before his hearing.
Here are five of the juiciest bits from “Siege: Trump Under Fire,” which was released on Tuesday.
The President’s Mental State
Wolff writes that those closest to Trump are becoming alarmed by his “temper, mood and impulses.”
During his time in Paris at the Arc de Triomphe, Wolff claims that friends were dealing with the most intense mood swings that they had seen in the entirety of Trump’s presidency. Sean Hannity apparently called Trump “totally f—ing crazy” and after the visit, POTUS was reportedly spending more and more time away from his office (which was called “executive time”) with Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump as the only people who stayed in contact with him.
“The president’s extreme mood swings were alarming for almost everyone,” Wolff writes.
A Potential Trump Indictment
Perhaps the most damning reveal in the book is the alleged existence of documents related to Mueller’s attempt to indict the president.
In a chapter devoted to Mueller, Wolff goes deep into the former FBI director and special counsel’s upbringing, his “anti-[Rudy] Giuliani” nature and his polar-opposite personality to Trump. Wolff writes that Mueller, the special counsel and the Justice Department’s chief of criminal fraud division Andrew Weissmann “laid out an indictment of the president” in March 2018. Wolff cites the documents’ “three counts” charging the president, which include one for “influencing, obstructing, or impeding a pending proceeding” and two more for “tampering with” and retaliating against either a victim, witness, or informant. He does not prove its existence, however, and its validity remains in question.
Wolff talks about First Lady Melania Trump’s mysterious hospitalization, which took place just a week after she launched the “Be Best” initiative to focus on children, bring attention to the opioid epidemic and highlight the dangers of bullying on social media. Wolff writes that the White House was “wholly unprepared for the event” and that the characterization of a benign kidney condition was a vague reason for her hospitalization. She was in the hospital for nearly a week.
“No one seemed to have a plan for how to announce or characterize her hospitalization,” Wolff writes.
A Source From “The Apprentice” Spills More Details
A sound engineer for “The Apprentice,” Erik Whitestone, recounted that Trump “constantly” asked to bring women up to his room and groped them in limousines. Whitestone also apparently got drafted into Trump’s schemes, with Trump telling him, “I want you to use our boardroom set and get a bunch of Arabs and all their Arab gear and we’ll put a sign on the table that says ‘OPEC’ and we’ll have this subtitle, ‘Death to Americans,’ or ‘We’ll Screw the Americans.'”
He reportedly told Whitestone that he would then “walk in and [say] a bunch of presidential bulls—” to make the video go viral. According to another anecdote, when Don Jr. had another of Trump’s grandchildren, he apparently responded with “Why the f— do I have to go see this kid? Don Jr. has too many f—ing kids.”
Jared Kushner’s Khashoggi comment:
In regards to the murder of U.S. resident journalist and Saudi citizen Jamal Khashoggi, Wolff details the “ugly reality” that Trump and his family were connected to the crown prince suspected of orchestrating the killing. Because of Trump’s financial dealings with Saudi Arabia, Wolff writes, his alliance took precedence over his decision to take a stand after the loss of one of America’s own reporters. Wolff claims that Mohammed bin Salman, Saudi ruler and friend of Jared Kushner, had a “cocaine problem,” and questions Kushner’s genuine financial relationship with the man, comparing him to “Tony Montana from ‘Scarface.'” According to an off-the-record interview with an unnamed reporter, Kushner defended the argument that Khashoggi was a terrorist.
“This guy [Khashoggi] was the link between certain factions in the royal family and Osama. We know that. A journalist? Come on, this was a terrorist masquerading as a journalist,” Kushner allegedly said to the unnamed journalist.