WASHINGTON – President Donald Trump and his advisers are continuing with their full-throated campaign against the incendiary new book “Fire and Fury,” by Michael Wolff, which relates comments from dozens of White House staffers and other administration officials expressing serious doubts about the president’s ability to govern the nation.
“I’ve had to put up with the Fake News from the first day I announced that I would be running for President. Now I have to put up with a Fake Book, written by a totally discredited author. Ronald Reagan had the same problem and handled it well. So will I!” wrote Trump on his Twitter account on Sunday morning.
Both Trump and his spokespeople spent all this past week harshly attacking Wolff and his book, which reopened the nationwide debate about the president’s mental health and stability, not to mention his ability to run the executive branch.
One of Trump’s closest advisers, Stephen Miller, once again went on the offensive in a combative interview on CNN that ended with host Jake Tapper abruptly cutting Miller off given the belligerence with which the latter had responded to questions and his insistence on presenting the president as “a political genius.”
On Saturday, the president stirred things up on Twitter and in political circles by fully entering into the debate about his mental health and intelligence, touting himself as “a very stable genius” and “really smart.”
Miller was especially harsh on Sunday on former White House strategy chief Steve Bannon, with whom the president angrily broke relations this past week after Wolff quoted Bannon criticizing his son Donald Jr. for his June 2016 meeting with a group of Russians, ostensibly to receive political “dirt” on his father’s Democratic rival in the presidential election, Hillary Clinton.
It is “tragic and unfortunate that Steve would make these grotesque comments so out of touch with reality and obviously so vindictive,” said Miller, emphasizing that Bannon’s role in the White House has been greatly “exaggerated.”
Trump returned on Sunday to Washington after holding meetings at the presidential retreat at Camp David, where he was accompanied by top legislators and part of his Cabinet, albeit with the noteworthy absence of Attorney General Jeff Sessions, whom several Republican lawmakers have called upon to resign because he recused himself from the investigation into the links between the president’s campaign and the Kremlin.
Nevertheless, Trump said upon being asked Saturday at a press conference that Sessions has his support and on Sunday he tweeted that the meetings he had held with his team had been fruitful.
The president said that those discussions included issues such as “Border Security & the desperately needed Wall, the ever increasing Drug and Opioid Problem, Infrastructure, Military, Budget, Trade and DACA,” the latter referring to the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, which – until Trump ended it – sheltered hundreds of thousands of young undocumented migrants from deportation.
The president is currently in bipartisan negotiations with Congress in which he is insisting on linking any solution to the DACA dilemma to building his long-promised US-Mexico border wall, which will require at least $18 billion in funding, although such a project is anathema to Democratic lawmakers.