Speed Reads


Michael Wolff reportedly taped Stephen Bannon's incendiary Trump comments

There have been some questions raised about the veracity of Michael Wolff's new book, Fire and Fury, about President Trump and his administration, excerpts of which took Washington by storm on Wednesday. Kate Walsh, a former Trump adviser in the White House, disputed a quote attributed to her that said dealing with Trump was "like trying to figure out what a child wants," and former Trump chief strategist and campaign CEO Stephen Bannon — whose reported statements were even more damning — "considered issuing a statement denouncing the book and denying some of the quotes but was not able to do so before Trump went on the attack," The Washington Post reports, citing Bannon allies.

But "Wolff has tapes to back up quotes in his incendiary book — dozens of hours of them," Mike Allen reports at Axios, and "among the sources he taped, I'm told, are Bannon and former White House deputy chief of staff Katie Walsh." In some cases, the White House officials and Trump allies thought they were speaking off the record, Allen notes, "but what are they going to do now?" In other cases, the skepticism is simply misplaced, he added, giving an example: "How could Wolff possibly know for sure what Steve Bannon and the late Roger Ailes said at a private dinner? It turns out Wolff hosted the dinner for six at his Manhattan townhouse." You can read more at Axios.