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. 

Go deeper

Updated 1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 9:30 p.m. ET: 33,867,247 — Total deaths: 1,012,341 — Total recoveries: 23,537,059Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 8 p.m. ET: 7,229,319 — Total deaths: 206,887 — Total recoveries: 2,840,688 — Total tests: 103,939,667Map.
  3. Education: School-aged children now make up 10% of all U.S COVID-19 cases.
  4. Health: The coronavirus' alarming impact on the body.
  5. Business: Real-time data show economy's rebound slowing but still going.
  6. Sports: Steelers-Titans NFL game delayed after coronavirus outbreak.
Ina Fried, author of Login
2 hours ago - Technology

Facebook removes Trump ads tying refugees to COVID-19

Photo Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios. Photo: Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images

Facebook said Wednesday that it was removing a series of ads from President Trump's campaign that linked American acceptance of refugees with increased coronavirus risk, a connection Facebook says is without merit.

Why it matters: The ads were pulled after they received thousands of impressions and are a sign that the Trump campaign continues to test the limits of social media rules on false information.

Over 73 million people watched the first debate on TV

Data: Nielsen; Chart: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

More than 73.1 million people watched the first presidential debate on television on Tuesday night, according to Nielsen ratings.

Why it matters: While that's a sizable audience for any American TV program, it's down more than 13% from the record number of TV viewers who tuned in for the first debate of the 2016 election. The chaotic nature of the debate and the overall uncertainty around this year's election may have pushed some viewers away.