Michael Wolff’s sensational new book on the early days of the Trump administration is riddled with errors and dubiously sourced claims.
Here’s what The Daily Caller has found so far:
1. The most striking portrait of Wolff’s carelessness in checking basic facts occurs in the early chapters of the book where he misspells a CNN political analyst’s name, misidentifies the position commerce secretary Wilbur Ross was nominated for at the time, and places a reporter at a restaurant he says he has never been to.
Via WashPost’s @MarkBerman: This page in Wolff’s book has 3 errors. @HilaryRosen‘s name is misspelled. Wilbur Ross was the commerce nominee, not labor. And Berman says he’s never been to this restaurant. pic.twitter.com/tRqxmU3Sct
— Brian Stelter (@brianstelter) January 5, 2018
2. Wolff parroted a claim that the president once skipped a meeting with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell in order to get a haircut. Washington Post White House reporter Ashley Parker noted several journalists heard the claim, “but no one wrote it bc every source w first-hand knowledge said it simply wasn’t true.”
McConnell’s chief of staff Don Stewart followed up on Parker’s tweet, saying the incident absolutely had not happened.
3. Wolff printed an unsubstantiated claim that Trump had no idea who former House speaker John Boehner was after the election. Trump, however, has tweeted about the former House speaker seven times since July 28, 2011 referencing ongoing political events.
I’m not buying that @realDonaldTrump didn’t know who Boehner was. @DonaldJTrumpJr says they spent time together b4 election and he has tweeted about him 7 times in the last 6 years. pic.twitter.com/tDe9TaBaon
— Saagar Enjeti (@esaagar) January 3, 2018
Boehner even told a Stanford audience in April of 2016 that Trump was his “golfing and texting buddy.” Worse, Wolff claimed Boehner was forced to resign from intra-party strife four years earlier than he actually did so.
So, not only does Trump not knowing Boehner ring false, Wolff also writes that Boehner was forced out as speaker four years earlier than he actually was. pic.twitter.com/CEgu9287Qx
— Henry J. Gomez (@HenryJGomez) January 8, 2018
4. Wolff’s book claimed that CNN is the outlet which published in full the unsubstantiated salacious dossier on the president compiled by former British spy Christopher Steele. BuzzfeedNews is the outlet which published the dossier in January 2017.
5. White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders noted to reporters Thursday that Wolff printed communications director Hope Hicks’ age as 26 when she is actually 29.
6. Several persons included in the book have denied outright quotes attributed to them by Wolff in the book. Former UK prime minister Tony Blair said a supposed recreated conversation between him and Jared Kushner was “categorically absurd” and “simply untrue.” Several former Trump aides quoted at length in the book have vehemently denied quotes attributed to them, including former deputy chief of staff Katie Walsh and Breitbart chairman Steve Bannon.
7. Wolff appears to have gotten one of his own quotes wrong writing in one column that media-mogul Rupert Murdoch called the president a “fucking moron” and writing elsewhere that he said “fucking idiot.”
8. Wolff characterized counselor to the president Kellyanne Conway as a “small time pollster” never involved in a national campaign.” Pollster Kristen Soltis Anderson noted however that Conway in fact was involved in a number of major national corporate projects prior to joining the Trump 2016 campaign and previously was a national pollster for former House speaker Newt Gingrich.
Ok, I’m calling baloney on this. As a junior munchkin pollster, I remember being on major corporate projects @kellyannepolls led. She was a Gingrich 2012 pollster. “Small time” is insanely unfair and “never involved in a national campaign” is verifiably false. pic.twitter.com/fL0xhz1vRa
— Kristen Soltis Anderson (@KSoltisAnderson) January 5, 2018
Wolff’s sourcing note in an excerpt explains many of the myriad inaccuracies, saying, “Many of the accounts of what has happened in the Trump White House are in conflict with one another; many, in Trumpian fashion, are baldly untrue. These conflicts, and that looseness with the truth, if not with reality itself, are an elemental thread of the book.”
The author added, “Sometimes I have let the players offer their versions, in turn allowing the reader to judge them. In other instances I have, through a consistency in the accounts and through sources I have come to trust, settled on a version of events I believe to be true.”