As Sean Spicer, the incoming White House press secretary, said on the first day of the Trump presidency: "You can’t make this s— up."
The chaos that engulfed the White House over the ensuing months was recorded by journalist Michael Wolff, who had a front row seat to one of the greatest real-life soap of modern times.
Mr Wolff was Rupert Murdoch’s biographer and first interviewed Mr Trump in June 2016 for The Hollywood Reporter. Mr Trump loved the magazine’s cover, which showed him in mirrored sunglasses.
Mr Wolff proposed writing a fly-on-the-wall account of the Trump administration. Never publicity shy, Mr Trump allowed the author to "knock yourself out". He became part of the West Wing furniture, conducting 200 interviews with senior staff, asking them what they thought about each other – and the boss – with explosive results.
He never wanted to be president
Mr Trump’s wife Melania was in tears when he won the election, while Mr Trump was "horrified" and looked like he had “seen a ghost” because they expected a defeat, it was claimed.
The billionaire had already been considering launching his own TV channel after he lost, and his campaign manager Kellyanne Conway spent election day interviewing for new jobs, according to Mr Wolff.
Mrs Trump’s spokeswoman furiously denied claims she had not wanted to be first lady.
The secret to Trump’s hair: Just for Men
The president’s daughter Ivanka Trump said he used Just for Men dye in his hair, according to Mr Wolff’s book Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House. The colour got darker the longer it was left on, and Mr Trump’s impatience explained the “orange-blonde” tone he sometimes has.
Ms Trump was also said to have made fun of her father’s comb-over hairstyle. Mr Wolff wrote: "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."
Sam Nunberg, a former Trump campaign aide, was said to have tried to teach Mr Trump basic details about the Constitution. "I got as far as the Fourth Amendment before his finger is pulling down on his lip and his eyes are rolling back in his head,” Mr Nunberg was quoted as saying.
Katie Walsh, the former deputy chief of staff, was quoted as saying dealing with Mr Trump was like "trying to figure out what a child wants". She has denied the remark. Rupert Murdoch, Mr Trump’s friend and fellow billionaire, was said to have called him "a f—— idiot" after a phone call in which they discussed immigration policy.
Billionaire Thomas Barrack Jr, one of Mr Trump’s closest and oldest friends, was quoted telling a friend: "He’s not only crazy, he’s stupid." Mr Barrack has called the claim "totally false". He had denied the comments.
Tom Barrack adds, "It's clear to anyone who knows me that those aren't my words and inconsistent with anything I've ever said." He says Wolffe never ran that quote by him to ask if it was accurate.
— Maggie Haberman (@maggieNYT) January 3, 2018
Trump slammed his own advisers
Mr Trump was said to have called Steve Bannon, his former chief strategist, disloyal and scruffy, to have labeled Mr Priebus weak and a midget, his son-in-law Jared Kushner a "suck-up," while Mr Spicer was "stupid" and dressed terribly, and Mrs Conway was reportedly referred to as a "crybaby".
Mr Trump also reportedly called Hope Hicks, his communications director, a "piece of tail," and suggested Mr Kushner and his daughter Ivanka should never have come to Washington.
Ivanka Trump wants to be president
Mr Wolff wrote that Ms Trump and Mr Kushner made an agreement between themselves that, if the opportunity arose for one of them to run for president, it would be her, allowing her to become the first female president.
He says: "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."
Mr Bannon was said to have called Ms Trump "dumb as a brick".
Trump sits in bed with cheeseburgers
Mr Trump was said to have banned people from touching his toothbrush, and would strip the bed sheets himself after entering the White House because of a fear of germs.
The book also claimed Mr Trump sleeps in a separate bedroom from his wife – the first time that had happened since the Kennedy presidency.
He was said to have installed three televisions in his bedroom and to retire there with a cheeseburger from 6.30pm. At one point he reportedly asked for locks on the door.
Tony Blair ‘told Trump the British were spying on him’
According to the book Tony Blair told Mr Kushner that British intelligence agencies could have spied on Trump aides during the election campaign, and the former prime minister was said to have angled for a Middle East role with the administration.
Mr Blair told the BBC’s Radio 4’s Today programme the claims were a “complete and total fabrication” and denied he wanted a Middle East role.
Hope Hicks dated married campaign manager Corey Lewandowski
White House Communications Director Hope Hicks reportedly had an on-off relationship with Corey Lewandowski who was Mr Trump’s first campaign manager, the book claims.
Mr Lewandowski, who is married, was fired by the then president-elect in June 2016 and Ms Hicks was reportedly upset about the media coverage surrounding his departure.
"Trump, who otherwise seemed to treat Hicks in a protective and even paternal way, looked up and said, ‘Why? You’ve already done enough for him. You’re the best piece of tail he’ll ever have,’ sending Hicks running from the room," an excerpt of the book said.
Trump called female acting attorney general a ‘c***’
Mr Trump was reportedly furious with acting attorney general Sally Yates when she refused to enforce his immigration ban, calling her “such a c***” for blocking his request.
The order was one of the president’s earliest and most controversial policies and was later met with a number of court battles ions, and would soon be the subject of court battles that continue.
In an except obtained by MSNBC Mr Trump was described as having an "early, obsessive antipathy" for Ms Yates who was fired just 10 days into her post.
Nine law firms refused to represent Trump
According to sources within the White House, no one expected Mr Trump to survive special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into possible Russian collusion in the presidential election.
His senior staff told Mr Wolff they believed the president did not have the "discipline" or the "credibility to attract the caliber of lawyers he would need to help him". At least nine major law firms were reportedly approached and decline an invitation to represent the president.
Trump ‘can’t recognise’ old friends
Mr Wolff portrays the president as an ageing man who repeats stories and quotes some of Mr Trump’s closest allies describing the president as “incapable of functioning in his job.” He describes a scene at Mr Trump’s Florida Mar-a-Lago resort just before the new year, saying “a heavily made-up Trump failed to recognise a succession of old friends.”
Mr Wolff writes: “It used to be inside of 30 minutes he’d repeat, word-for-word and expression-for-expression, the same three stories—now it was within 10 minutes.”
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