How Michael Wolff duped the White House into giving him access to Trump's aides

He had an intricate plan which he hatched and then executed with ninja-like stealth and deadliness.

Step one: He told the White House he’d write a book favorable to them.
Step two: They believed him and turned him loose in the West Wing.

That was the plan. These are the people negotiating with Kim Jong Un to avert nuclear war.

According to Bloomberg, Wolff didn’t even initiate this project. It fell into his lap when Trump dialed him up out of the blue to compliment him on a CNN appearance in which Wolff … bashed the media’s coverage of the president. So susceptible is POTUS to flattery and so eager is he to satisfy his eternal grudge with the press that a little bit of cheerleading from Wolff was all it took for him to place his trust, essentially blindly, in a far more devious reporter than the ones he’s always complaining about. CNN drives him nuts so he turned to Michael farking Wolff, of all people, to try to balance the scales. The irony is as thick and dense as the brain matter of White House deputies who went along.

Nearly everyone who spoke with Wolff thought someone else in the White House had approved their participation. And it appears that not a single person in a position of authority to halt cooperation with the book — including Trump himself — raised any red flags, despite Wolff’s well documented history.

In fact, for the first six months of Trump’s presidency no one in his White House — including then-Chief of Staff Reince Priebus and then-Press Secretary Sean Spicer — stopped Wolff from repeatedly scheduling appointments in the West Wing. He visited about 17 times, according to a person familiar with the matter. Nor did they monitor what Trump’s aides were telling the controversial author…

[An] Obama aide said his communications team kept strict tabs on authors’ work — micromanaging access to the White House, assigning press aides to mind the authors during interviews or asking staff for summaries afterward, closely tracking lines of questioning and making sure writers were escorted off the grounds after their appointments.

That didn’t happen in Wolff’s case, and the matter of who precisely granted him access to the White House is a touchy subject for Trump’s senior aides.

Sarah Huckabee Sanders claimed that “close to 95 percent” of Wolff’s access to the White House was due to requests from Steve Bannon, an irresistible excuse given Bannon’s new notoriety as a key source for Wolff and his new supervillain status in MAGAworld. It was the traitor, Bannon, who let the Wolff in the door! But that’s too easy. Some of Bloomberg’s sources claim that Kellyanne Conway gave him access more than once and appears to have spoken with him at some length. Conway’s a longtime political player. What’s her excuse for not knowing Wolff’s reputation and intervening to protect Trump from him? For that matter, what’s the excuse of former White House communications director Mike Dubke? Dubke left the job in late May but Trump’s fateful phone call to Wolff allegedly happened in early February 2017, with Wolff conducting interviews at the White House not long afterward. Dubke’s a right-wing media-relations pro of longstanding. He didn’t speak up about Wolff either?

In the end, though, it all falls on Hope Hicks, who was Trump’s informal communications director before being formally appointed to the job in September at the tender age of 29 after Dubke quit. Although she had no leadership role in the West Wing until the fall, she’s an old-school Trump deputy who was with him before the campaign. She’s either the unofficial head of the Praetorian Guard or she’s a very high-ranking member. Where the hell was she when Wolff came knocking? Did she do any due diligence as to whether he could be trusted to write the sort of book he was proposing to write? If so, how did she miss the high-profile critiques of his methods in magazines like Brill’s Content and The New Republic? It’s tempting to accuse Hicks of being too young or simply out of her depth to do her job effectively for Trump — but then how do you explain the apparent negligence on Conway’s and Dubke’s parts, too?

Wolff’s going to end up filthy rich from all this, and not just from book royalties. “Fire & Fury” will soon be a TV show (although, more likely, a TV miniseries) with Wolff himself as executive producer. And given the propensity of Trump staffers to leak, he’s probably already hard at work on “Fire & Fury 2: More Fiery, More Furious.” Congrats to Hope and everyone else for sharpening a knife and handing it to Wolff before allowing him to stab their boss repeatedly with it. Exit question via a million different people: Isn’t there already a “Fire & Fury” TV show on cable news every day?

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