President Donald Trump’s election victory came as a shock to most of the country, sparking a series of monumental protests and demonstrations. People wondered how a former reality TV star with no political or military experience could actually defeat a former secretary of state with decades of political experience in the race for the highest office in the country.
Apparently, the commander-in-chief and his family members were just as shell-shocked by the unexpected result. Not only did they not expect him to win, it seems they might have not wanted him to win at all — and that includes Trump himself, according to journalist Michael Wolff's tell-all book “Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House,” which looks at the inner workings of the chaotic administration.
“This is bigger than I ever dreamed of,” Trump reportedly told former Fox News executive Roger Ailes, a week before the election. “I don’t think about losing, because it isn’t losing. We’ve totally won.”
That’s about as reassuring as Trump threatening to start a nuclear war on his personal Twitter account.
The author, who interviewed several White House officials, claimed Trump’s campaign manager Kellyanne Conway had begun to look for another job days before the election because she did not think Trump had a chance at winning.
The campaign even had a strategy worked out for Trump’s expected loss: blaming former Republican National Committee chairman Reince Priebus, who later went on to serve as White House chief of staff for a few months.
“Losing would work out for everybody. Losing was winning,” wrote the author.
Although it doesn’t come as much of a surprise, Trump apparently only decided to run for fame. That was his ultimate goal. Unfortunately, it did not work out the way he and most of the Americans wanted it to.
“His ultimate goal, after all, had never been to win. ‘I can be the most famous man in the world,’ he had told his aide Sam Nunberg at the outset of the race,” reads the excerpt. “His longtime friend Roger Ailes, the former head of Fox News, liked to say that if you want a career in television, first run for president. Now Trump, encouraged by Ailes, was floating rumors about a Trump network. It was a great future. He would come out of this campaign, Trump assured Ailes, with a far more powerful brand and untold opportunities.”
What’s more, Trump reportedly did not want to invest his own money in his campaign, considering it doomed already.
“[Steve] Bannon, who became chief executive of Trump’s team in mid-August, called it 'the broke-d*** campaign,” said the author. “Almost immediately, he saw that it was hampered by an even deeper structural flaw: The candidate who billed himself as a billionaire — ten times over — refused to invest his own money in it.”
Wondering how the Trumps reacted to the election victory?
“Shortly after 8 p.m. on Election Night, when the unexpected trend — Trump might actually win — seemed confirmed, Don Jr. told a friend that his father, or DJT, as he calls him, looked as if he had seen a ghost. Melania was in tears — and not of joy.”
Here are a few other note-worthy (read: shocking) revelations from the tome.
1. Steve Bannon vs. Donald Trump
Bannon called the infamous 2016 Trump Tower meeting between Donald Trump Jr., Jared Kushner and Russian officials a “treasonous” activity. He even told the author the investigators looking in to the president's son are “going to crack Don Junior like an egg on national TV.”
Trump has responded to the comments by slapping his former right hand man with a cease-and-desist order.
2. Michael Flynn Didn’t Think Taking Money From The Russians Would Be A Problem
Former Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, who became the first casualty of the Trump administration and became a central figure in the federal probe into alleged Russian election meddling, did not expect Trump to win either.
“Almost everybody on the Trump team, in fact, came with the kind of messy conflicts bound to bite a president once he was in office. Michael Flynn, the retired general who served as Trump’s opening act at campaign rallies, had been told by his friends that it had not been a good idea to take $45,000 from the Russians for a speech. ‘Well, it would only be a problem if we won,’ Flynn assured them.”
3. Trump Wanted Kushner To Be His Chief Of Staff
After Ailes told Trump “You need a son of a b**** as your chief of staff,” Trump suggested appointing his politically inexperienced son-in-law, Jared Kushner.
However, Ann Coulter (of all people) told the president he could not do that.
“Nobody is apparently telling you this,” she told him. “But you can’t. You just can’t hire your children.”
4. Ivanka Trump Jokes About Her Dad’s Hair
Trump’s signature hairstyle has been mocked through out years — and it seems his favorite child and eldest daughter, Ivanka Trump, is not above making jokes on her father’s expense either.
"She treated her father with a degree of detachment, even irony, going so far as to make fun of his comb-over to others. She often described the mechanics behind it to friends: an absolutely clean pate — a contained island after scalp-reduction surgery — surrounded by a furry circle of hair around the sides and front, from which all ends are drawn up to meet in the center and then swept back and secured by a stiffening spray. The color, she would point out to comical effect, was from a product called Just for Men — the longer it was left on, the darker it got. Impatience resulted in Trump’s orange-blond hair color."
5. Trump Is Afraid He’ll Be Poisoned
The commander-in-chief’s love for McDonald’s is well-documented. On campaign trail, his go-to order was two Big Macs, two Fillet-O-Fish and a chocolate malted shake. That amounts to a whopping 2,430 calories per meal. Apparently, his obsession with fast-food is fueled by his “longtime fear of being poisoned.”
“One reason why he liked to eat at McDonald’s — nobody knew he was coming and the food was safely premade.”
It looks like the Trump administration is much more chaotic and incompetent than we all thought.
Meanwhile, White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders has called the upcoming book a "trashy tabloid fiction."
“This book is filled with false and misleading accounts from individuals who have no access or influence with the White House,” she said in a statement. “Participating in a book that can only be described as trashy tabloid fiction exposes their sad desperate attempts at relevancy.”
Thumbnail/Banner Credits: Reuters, Jonathan Ernst