Fire and Fury Author: ‘I’m Barely a Journalist,’ I Don’t Have a ‘Monopoly on the Truth’

Michael Wolff / Getty Images
• March 27, 2018 2:14 pm


Fire and Fury author Michael Wolff said he's "barely a journalist" and doesn't have a "monopoly on the truth" in an interview Monday about his controversial insider's look at President Donald Trump's White House.

Wolff, a longtime New York-based gossip writer, told the Vassar Political Review it was "bullshit" to suggest he acted sycophantically to gain his White House access and that he thought of himself more as a writer than a journalist.

"I’m not a political journalist," he said, according to the Washington Examiner. "I’m not, frankly, all that much interested in politics. I’m a writer. I’m barely a journalist, actually. I am a writer."

In the next breath, however, he called himself "the most prolific journalist in the country. You know, millions upon millions upon millions of words."

Wolff's explosive book, which depicted Trump as in over his head and surrounded by staff that doubted his competency and stability, became an instant best-seller in January, although Wolff was also criticized for hazy sourcing and reliance on Steve Bannon, as well as numerous typos and incorrect assertions in his text.

"I have no monopoly on the truth," Wolff said. "Somebody at the [Columbia School of Journalism] called me the other day and asked if I could speak to their investigative journalism class. I said, ‘I would be delighted to but I know nothing about investigative journalism.’ I wouldn’t even know what that is. I am an observer: I investigate nothing."

He added his job "has nothing to do with truth."

Although media critics at the time largely praised the book and defended it because it "rings true," some turned on him when he spread the unfounded rumor that U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley was having an affair with the president. Haley blasted the inference about her as "disgusting."

"Morning Joe" co-host Mika Brzezinski, after praising Wolff's book a month earlier, booted Wolff off the show in February when he denied spreading the rumor, saying he was "slurring" Haley.

Wolff told Vassar Political Review Trump's goal in becoming president was to become the world's most famous person and that he had no specific policy goals beyond that.

Asked if Trump would at some point resign, Wolff guessed he would.

"I think that he probably will," he said. "What I see happening now is an ever tighter triangulation. There are mortal arrows pointed at this guy, and I think he doesn’t escape this. But, one talent that he has, throughout his whole career, is that in the worst possible circumstances [he] just declares victory and insist that he’s the winner. "