Author Michael Wolff said Sunday that President Donald Trump personally granted him access to the White House for his explosive book "Fire and Fury," countering the president's claims that he turned him away.
In an interview on NBC's "Meet the Press," Wolff recounted how he got access to the West Wing, saying Trump personally, if reluctantly, allowed him to roam. According to Wolff, the president went as far as to praise his work in front of others. Wolff said the president's blessing was a critical tool that got him access to White House staff.
"I remember [Trump] seemed deflated: 'a book, who cares about a book?'" Wolff said. "I said, 'No, no, I’d really like to do this.' … And I said, 'But, you know, is it, is it okay?' 'Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah.' So then I went around and so it was basically me saying, 'The president says this is, this is — he likes this idea.'
"The first time that I came in it was it was like 'Oh my God, Michael Wolff. Unbelievable. Do you know this guy? He’s the best.'" Wolff said.
Trump has given a much different account, tweeting on Thursday: "I authorized Zero access to White House (actually turned him down many times) for author of phony book! I never spoke to him for book. Full of lies, misrepresentations and sources that don’t exist. Look at this guy’s past and watch what happens to him and Sloppy Steve!"
"Meet the Press" Chuck Todd pressed Wolff on whether he left positive anecdotes out of the book because they got in the way of the narrative of dysfunction.
"If I left out anything," Wolff said, "it’s probably stuff that was even more damning."
Todd also questioned the book's fact-checking and editing. In one instance, Wolff confused Mike Berman, a lobbyist, for Washington Post journalist Mark Berman. Mark Berman called out the mistake on Twitter, saying his child was being born when he was said to be dining at the Four Seasons hotel in Washington (In fact, Mark Berman said he's never dined at the Four Seasons.).
"I mixed up a Mike Berman and a Mark Berman," Wolff said. "For that I apologize. But the book speaks for itself. Read the book."