‘Fire & Fury – great fiction but it won’t have impact on Trump’
Speculation that US President Donald Trump has psychological problems, fueled by the ‘tell-all’ bestseller about the Trump White House called ‘Fire and Fury’ by Michael Wolff, led to a heated clash between Trump's senior policy adviser, Stephen Miller, and CNN host Jake Tapper. The CNN host cut off the 12-minute interview on ‘State of the Union’ with Miller, saying that the adviser was wasting viewers' time.
Apart from allegations about Trump's mental health, ‘Fire and Fury’ author Wolff has claimed that Trump found the White House daunting. It's said that the president's own behavior contributed to "chaos and dysfunction."
Meanwhile, Bannon, who was Trump's chief strategist, has expressed regret for comments included in the book, in which he dubbed a meeting between members of the Trump team and a Russian lawyer “treasonous.”
“My comments were aimed at Paul Manafort, a seasoned campaign professional with experience and knowledge of how the Russians operate... To reiterate, those comments were not aimed at Don Jr.,” Bannon said.
“I regret that my delay in responding to the inaccurate reporting regarding Don Jr. has diverted attention from the president’s historical accomplishments in the first year of his presidency,” he added.
RT: Miller's interview on CNN was cut short. Why invite someone on from Trump's administration, and then not give them the chance to talk?
Bryan Crabtree: CNN of all places, based in Atlanta, they love to basically bring conservatives, especially Trump conservatives, on their network and give them a bashing, if you will. That is their mode of operation. They love to bring them on and lecture them about what is wrong with Trump. And the American people, judging by the ratings, don’t care much for it.
This is what we see over and over again. All I can say is that my guess is – most of the media likes business as usual. They liked how things worked under the Obama administration when they had a lot of access to fancy parties and better jobs, and better coverage, perhaps. And maybe they are just more in line with President Obama’s politics. But none of that matters because right now President Trump is president and whether they like it or not, it is how it is. And they have zero impact, even after 90 percent of their coverage on this president… has been negative. - Dr Gina Loudon, psychology expert, political analyst and author
RT: Why did Steve Bannon apologize for his comments in ‘Fire and Fury’? Is this damage control or was he actually misquoted?
BC: I think he was misquoted and I think he also was quoted. If you look at this book, this is the biggest bout of fake news we’ve seen in a long time. They quoted the fact that Trump didn’t know who John Boehner, our former speaker of the House, was. He has played golf with him, he was the speaker of the House for four months when Trump began his campaign. So, I think, if you look at what he is really doing here, the agenda of Steve Bannon is to run for president, run a large political-action committee. And that is why he got fired. I think Steve Bannon was pro-Trump until he got a taste of the power that came with President Trump and then he became pro-Steve Bannon. He was doing interviews, he seemed to go rogue. And eventually when former General John Kelly, the current chief of staff took the reins, he worked on getting him ousted from the White House. And I think that is really what this is about. Steve Bannon thinks that he is a superstar, the media to their credit built him up as that. And I think he went off the rails. I think this is all about Steve Bannon and his agenda and I think he lost a thought that he was damaging Trump, who he helped get elected.
Steve Bannon was actually misquoted in a lot of ways. We know that this book has been widely discredited and it wasn’t even just by Trump‘s friends, that has been by some of Trump’s foes as well. And this particular author is considered a tabloid writer, he is not considered a legitimate author. This book, we all know, is fiction. It doesn’t surprise me at all that a lot of what was said is being disputed on all levels by both sides. - Dr Gina Loudon, psychology expert, political analyst and author
RT: How could Bannon's retraction affect the media frenzy about Trump's alleged mental state. Could it force the media to admit not everything in ‘Fire and Fury’ is true?
BC: No, it is pretty much untrue. I think there is some truth in it but the reader has been left to figure out what is true and what is not. Let’s face it, Michael Wolff sat inside the White House, he basically grabbed people as they walked by, had extensive conversations with Steve Bannon. He has admitted to some extent some stuff isn’t fully verified. And on top of that, he has gotten information from Steve Bannon that is second-hand comments and he has quoted them as first-hand. So, it is a great fiction work and it is good entertainment. But I think the fallout is going to be the same as every other controversy thus far on Trump. If you look at approval ratings, maybe they take a hit. But in reality, the support behind Trump seems to be unwavering. And this is another media frenzy. I don’t think this has much impact on the president going forward. I think it just shows that there is a few people that he has put himself around, that he may need to take a second look at. Steve Bannon was one of them, this is already done. I think at the end of the day, these things are a big joke and we’ve been left to just figure this stuff out.