POLITICS
01/08/2018 10:00 pm ET

Michael Wolff Calls Trump The 'Biggest Leaker' In The White House

The president calls a "coterie of friends and billionaires, and motor-mouths," the "Fire and Fury" author said.

Fire and Fury author Michael Wolff called President Donald Trump the “biggest leaker” in the White House in an interview Monday, as he defended himself from attacks against his tell-all book on the Trump administration.

While Trump complained about press leaks, “the biggest leaker was Donald Trump,” Wolff told Katy Tur in an MSNBC segment.

“Many of the leaks that he would come out and rail against started because [Trump] gets on the phone at night with his coterie of friends and billionaires, and motor-mouths,” Wolff said. “Then they call other people to say, ‘Oh my God, this is what he said.’ And then those people call other people. And suddenly you have leaked... This is all Donald Trump.” 

Is Trump “aware of what he’s saying?” Wolff asked. “I would suspect not all of it.” 

Wolff went easy on his source Steve Bannon, even as the former White House chief strategist attempted in a statement Sunday to distance himself from the book that has infuriated the president

In the book, Bannon describes a June 2016 meeting that involved campaign aides, Donald Trump Jr. and a Russian lawyer as “treasonous” and “unpatriotic.” But Bannon said Sunday that the comments were aimed not at Trump’s son but rather at former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort. He attributed the discrepancy to “inaccurate reporting.”

Bannon did not deny any other remarks attributed to him, but he described Trump Jr. as a “patriot and a good man,” and said that his support for Trump and his agenda is “unwavering.”

Wolff said on MSNBC that Bannon’s “treasonous” comments were “absolutely” in reference to Trump’s eldest son.

“Steve was incredibly helpful on this book, and his insights are penetrating,” Wolff said. “I don’t feel great about putting him in what seems obviously a difficult position. But he was talking about Don Jr. He was not talking about Paul Manafort.”

Wolff indicated that Bannon tried to make amends to the president with the statement, but with the “minimal amount of contrition and the minimal amount of dissembling that he possibly could.” “I think Steve is trying to figure out what to do right now,” Wolff said. “Where does he go?”

Wolff said the president is “bouncing off the walls” over the book, calling his lawyers, “doing what no president should do and what no president has ever done ― trying to accuse an author of invading his privacy and libeling him. It’s nutso.”

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