The Wolff is once more at the door. The Guardian reports that Michael Wolff, the author of Fire and Fury, has written a new tome. It’s called Siege: Trump Under Fire. It alleges that special counsel Robert Mueller drafted a three-count obstruction of justice indictment that he then decided to discard. The Mueller team says that Wolff’s report is bogus. But Wolff himself writes that his assertion is “based on internal documents given to me by sources close to the Office of the Special Counsel.”
He’s also got some eyebrow-raising quotes.
“The Jews always flip,” was apparently Trump’s verdict on the cooperation agreements of Michael Cohen, David Pecker and Allen Weisselberg. Why Trump singled out Jews for such disapprobation is not clear, though a new poll from the Jewish Electorate Institute indicates that two-thirds of American Jews remain Democrats and view his presidency with disfavor. But when it comes to turncoats, what about Michael Flynn, his former national security adviser?
In the lupine world of publishing, it’s good to know that Wolff remains good for controversy. His last book, which occasioned a good deal of tut-tutting among Washington journalists, who were aggrieved that they had missed the big story and took it out on Wolff in the form of decrying a variety of trivial errors, sold some five million copies. Whether Wolff can match that feat is an open question.
The problem for Wolff may be that the Trump presidency is losing its ability to appall and astonish. Axios reports that his tweets are losing some of their potency. Not that Trump isn’t doing his level best to try and juice them up. In the past few days, during his jaunt to Japan, Trump has kissed up Kim Jong-un and lauded his dismissal of former vice-president Joe Biden as a “low-IQ” individual.
Nor is this all. Having dismissed North Korea’s fresh missile test as no biggie, Trump also perform a somersault on Iran. He’s been breathing fire about Iran for weeks to the fury of the mullahs in Tehran. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and National Security Adviser have been steadily ramping up the pressure on Iran.
No longer. Now Trump declared, “we’re not looking for regime change. I want to make that clear,” even as he maintained the fiction that Barack Obama and Joe Biden had promoted a deal with Iran that ensured “access—free access-to nuclear weapons, where they wouldn’t even be in violation, in just a very short period of time.” His confrontation with Iran is going about as well as his “easy to win” tariff war with China.
Perhaps the most peculiar remarks that Trump delivered came during a Memorial Day address on a USS WASP, where he took advantage of the occasion to decry modern technology.
“They’re always coming up with new ideas,” Trump said. “They’re making planes so complex you can’t fly them. We all want innovation, but it’s too much.”
It was time, he said, for the Navy to abandon electromagnetic catapults systems and return to the good old days of steam-powered ones.
“So I think I’m going to put an order — when we build a new aircraft carrier, we’re going to use steam,” Trump stated.
As always, Trump is steamed about a lot of things.