Speed Reads

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Top Trump aides would get into 'screaming fights' in front of a 'bemused' Trump, Michael Wolff says

Michael Wolff, author of a hotly anticipated tell-all book about the Trump administration out next week, penned a column for The Hollywood Reporter on Thursday that offered a first-person perspective of his experience "plunking [himself] down, day after day, on a West Wing couch." Wolff's book, Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House, was published in part by The Guardian and New York on Wednesday, and the outrageous excerpts roiled Washington.

The excerpted portions portrayed the Trump White House as a pit of hapless chaos, with disillusioned — or worse, feuding — aides, and former chief strategist Stephen Bannon standing at the center of the whirlwind. As Wolff explains in his Thursday column, Trump's staff was constantly in combat, partly because of their unnatural combination: "There was Jared [Kushner] and Ivanka [Trump], Democrats; there was [former Chief of Staff Reince] Priebus, a mainstream Republican; and there was Bannon, whose reasonable claim to be the one person actually representing Trumpism so infuriated Trump that Bannon was hopelessly sidelined by April," Wolff writes.

All that intermingling created a crackling tension — which sometimes did explode. The staff became "focused on the more lethal battles within the White House itself," Wolff writes. "This included screaming fights in the halls and in front of a bemused Trump in the Oval Office (when he was not the one screaming himself), together with leaks about what Russians your opponents might have been talking to."

Read Wolff's full column at The Hollywood Reporter, or read more material from Fire and Fury at The Guardian or New York.