This Wolff episode reminds me of Michael Hastings' embed with the McChrystal crew.
— Kate Brannen (@K8brannen) January 4, 2018
Amazingly Mike Flynn played a supporting role both times. https://t.co/6R5yQbQRRx
— Zeddy (@Zeddary) January 4, 2018
Because they’re all scorpions in the Oval Office, these days! The Guardian, to its credit, seems to have broken the Wolff story first, and NYMag has a gripping authorized you-are-there excerpt (possibly bumped up, after the the firestorm started). But The Hollywood Reporter scored an excerpt made by Wolff himself, and it is jaw-dropping. He seems to have invited himself into the Oval Office, not just for an afternoon, but repeatedly. The Trump family didn’t pay any attention to the guy on the couch, taking notes (recordings!), because they’re used to treating all random strangers in their quarters as The Help (i.e., invisible to their exalted attention). And all the other operators hanging around — Bannon, Priebus, Spicer, et al — were afraid to challenge Wolff, for fear that he might have more clout than they did… or, at least, that drawing attention to him might draw unwanted attention to them. “”You Can’t Make This S— Up”: My Year Inside Trump’s Insane White House”:
I interviewed Donald Trump for The Hollywood Reporter in June 2016, and he seemed to have liked — or not disliked — the piece I wrote. “Great cover!” his press assistant, Hope Hicks, emailed me after it came out (it was a picture of a belligerent Trump in mirrored sunglasses). After the election, I proposed to him that I come to the White House and report an inside story for later publication — journalistically, as a fly on the wall — which he seemed to misconstrue as a request for a job. No, I said. I’d like to just watch and write a book. “A book?” he responded, losing interest. “I hear a lot of people want to write books,” he added, clearly not understanding why anybody would. “Do you know Ed Klein?”— author of several virulently anti-Hillary books. “Great guy. I think he should write a book about me.” But sure, Trump seemed to say, knock yourself out.
Since the new White House was often uncertain about what the president meant or did not mean in any given utterance, his non-disapproval became a kind of passport for me to hang around — checking in each week at the Hay-Adams hotel, making appointments with various senior staffers who put my name in the “system,” and then wandering across the street to the White House and plunking myself down, day after day, on a West Wing couch…
The nature of the comedy, it was soon clear, was that here was a group of ambitious men and women who had reached the pinnacle of power, a high-ranking White House appointment — with the punchline that Donald Trump was president. Their estimable accomplishment of getting to the West Wing risked at any moment becoming farce.