The media is atwitter with news about a forthcoming book that contains damning information about the president and the president’s inner circle. Much of that information comes from a man who was, until very recently, part of that inner circle. Steve Bannon spilled his rotten guts to Michael Wolff, the author of the soon-to-be-released tell-all book Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House. Trump is furious and doing the only thing he seems to know how to do—sending out barely coherent tweets and working to rewrite history. All of a sudden, Bannon has been recast from shrewd kingmaker to egomaniac with scant influence on the current administration.
The president can throw tantrums and threaten lawsuits, but he asked for this. He surrounded himself with a bunch of morally bereft, malignant hustlers and now he seems surprised that he is the one being hustled. Everyone knows when you lie down with dogs, you get up with fleas. No one is more flea-infested than Bannon. He even looks mangy. No person with any instinct for self-preservation would sit in the same room with Bannon for more than thirty seconds, but the current president yoked himself to Bannon and rode his parasitic, garbage-strewn wave all the way to the White House.
Steve Bannon is a rabid dog and, at some point, a rabid dog will bite.
Before he was elevated to a position of power in a presidential campaign and the presidential administration, Bannon’s audience was a small group of impotent racists. Now we hear his words on the evening news. Bannon’s power and influence was bestowed by the office of the president and the current occupant of that office bears the blame when Bannon goes after him, his sons, his daughter, and anyone else.
Bannon used the Trump family and the Trump brand to amplify his odious bark and now he’s turned on them. Anyone with an ounce of sense could have seen it coming, but good sense is in short supply in the current administration.
And Bannon isn’t the only one who shared details about the president’s habits, opinions, apparent intelligence level, and temperament with Wolff. According to numerous sources, Trump is paranoid, childish, barely literate, and seems to view everyone with disdain, even his own family members. He gets angry when his ugly opinions are aired on the evening news, but he can’t seem to keep his mouth shut.
According one excerpt from the book:
“As details of Trump’s personal life leaked out, he became obsessed with identifying the leaker. The source of all the gossip, however, may well have been Trump himself,” Wolff writes. “In his calls throughout the day and at night from his bed, he often spoke to people who had no reason to keep his confidences.”
The president is a blabbermouth and, though he demands loyalty from the people around him, he displays no loyalty to anyone. Though he has lashed out and ranted about the excerpts released so far, particularly the quotes from Bannon, he has not denied saying the things he’s reported to have said. That may be the most damning thing of all.
I don’t know what else is in Wolff’s book, but I suspect we’ll see the biggest bombshells over the next week as publication looms. There’s no better way to drive sales than to whip people into a frenzy. (Side note: if anyone has any ideas about whipping people into a frenzy about my forthcoming novel, I’m all ears.) The truth is, the stuff Bannon said is mostly vicious gossip and speculation, and no one would care if Bannon weren’t the meanest dog at the junkyard. But thanks to the president, Bannon’s bark is louder than ever and now he’s started to bite. We’ll have to wait and see which is worse—the bark or the bite. I suspect the president will be the first to know.