Jan 22, 2018 - Politics & Policy

Howard Kurtz book to offer another look at White House "disorder"


Photo: Brendan Smialowski / AFP via Getty Images

Just as the outrage sparked by Michael Wolff's "Fire and Fury" begins to die down, another new book on the disfunction surrounding the West Wing, this one by Fox News host Howard Kurtz, is set to hit shelves.

Why it matters: Excerpts from Kurtz's book, obtained by the Washington Post, reveal a White House "riven by chaos, with aides scrambling to respond to the president’s impulses and writing policy to fit his tweets," writes the Post's Ashley Parker. Kurtz says some of Trump's aides go so far as to call his behavior "Defiance Disorder.”

The juiciest bits from “Media Madness: Donald Trump, The Press, And The War Over The Truth,” detailed by Parker:

  • Trump, who was supposed to meet with his then-chief of staff Reince Priebus in July to discuss different options regarding transgender individuals serving in the military, unexpectedly preempted any talks and "sent his entire administration scrambling" by announcing his policy decision on Twitter.
  • On a Saturday morning in March, White House aides found themselves waking up "confused and 'blindsided' to find that Trump had — without any evidence — accused former president Barack Obama on Twitter of wiretapping him during the campaign ... 'Nobody in the White House quite knew what to do.'"
  • "Kurtz also recounts an Oval Office meeting in which Bannon blamed Ivanka for a leak — and Trump supported him over his daughter: ‘Baby, I think Steve’s right here,’ Trump told her.” A White House official denied the account to the Post.
  • When Bannon left the White House, he told Trump he planned to bring down Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. "'Trump said that was fine, that Bannon should go ahead,' Kurtz writes."
  • "'The president himself leaked to reporters as well, his aides believed,' writes Kurtz. 'And sometimes it was inadvertent: Trump would talk to so many friends and acquaintances that key information would quickly reach journalists.'”

What's next: The book is set for release on Jan. 29. 

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