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 3 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 9 p.m. ET: 12,220,166 — Total deaths: 553,438 — Total recoveries — 6,696,632Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 9 p.m. ET: 3,111,902 — Total deaths: 133,195 — Total recoveries: 969,111 — Total tested: 38,032,966Map.
  3. Public health: More young people are spreading the virus Cases rise in 33 statesFlorida reports highest single-day death toll since pandemic began.
  4. Science: World Health Organization acknowledges airborne transmission of coronavirus.
  5. 1 🐂 thing: How the world could monitor for potential pandemic animal viruses.
5 hours ago - Podcasts

Inside Joe Biden's economic plan

Joe Biden on Thursday returned to his hometown of Scranton, Pennsylvania, to give his first major speech on economic policy since becoming the Democratic Party’s presumptive presidential nominee.

Axios Re:Cap digs into Biden's plans, how they developed and how they may change, with former U.S. Commerce secretary and campaign surrogate Penny Pritzker.

5 hours ago - World

Countries grapple with whether to lock back down as hotspots emerge

Tokyo in the time of coronavirus. Photo: Charly Triballeau/AFP via Getty

Many politicians and public health officials sounded a similar lockdown refrain in the spring: let’s do this right so we only have to do it once.

Reality check: While some countries have thus far managed to keep cases under control after opening up, dozens of countries that had initially turned a corner are now seeing a worrying rebound. They have to decide if and how to return to lockdown — and whether their populations will stand for it.