NBC's Chuck Todd: Wolff’s Book ‘Reinforces’ Anti-Trump Narrative From ‘Entire Media’

On Sunday’s Meet the Press, NBC’s Chuck Todd sat down with journalist Michael Wolff to discuss and promote his dubiously sourced anti-Trump gossip book Fire and Fury. During the interview, the NBC host seemed to let it slip that the “entire media” was pushing an anti-Trump narrative and claimed that the book confirmed their accusations.

You thought that the media was too one-sided or that was the impression you were giving. I have to say, when you read this book, you almost seem to reinforce the entire media narrative you were criticizing,” Todd said after reading something Wolff wrote in 2017 that was critical of the media’s unfair coverage of Trump.

“You know, I think that in the beginning, the media took this point of view without having had this experience,” Wolff explained. “You know, I went into this, a decent part of the country went into this, his entire staff went into this thinking maybe this can work.” But according to him, their wishful thinking was for naught. “Okay, that’s not the story. He is not going to succeed. This is worse than everybody thought,” he declared in a serious tone.

It’s that bad. I mean, it's an extraordinary moment in time. And the last several days focused on my book I think are proof of this,” Wolff claimed. “I think not an exaggeration and not unreasonable. It's not unreasonable to say this is 25th Amendment kind of stuff.” The 25th Amendment allows for the cabinet and the vice president to remove a president from office if they believe he is not fit to serve. “This is alarming in every way … So the 25th Amendment is a concept that is alive every day in the White House,” he asserted.

 

 

Despite his loaded comments, Wolff continued to maintain that he “went into this with absolutely no agenda whatsoever. I have no particular politics when it comes to Donald Trump. This is really all about human nature.

During his interview, Todd neglected to grill Wolff about an inflammatory comment he made on BBC Radio on Saturday where Wolff claimed his book would “finally end … this presidency.” Yet Todd did go to that BBC interview for inspiration for another question regarding when Trump’s administration would inevitably fall apart.

One final question. You said something in a BBC interview: that you thought this presidency was going to hit a wall. What did that mean? Hit a wall by 2020 or before then,” Todd wondered.

Wolff didn’t know when the administration would hit the wall but he asserted that it was the ultimate train wreck everyone was looking out for:

Um, I think - I don’t know when the train is going to finally hit the wall. I think the entire narrative of this presidency and this candidacy and then presidency has been it’s going to hit a wall. And the thing that keeps everybody’s attention absolutely riveted - this global attention - is that the train keeps going, but the wall is still there. I mean one of the things, I think, about this book and why it’s hit such a chord and become this cultural moment is it’s given everybody this focused opportunity to say, “Holy crap.”

And Wolff claims he doesn’t have a political agenda. Yeah, sure.

Relevant portions of the transcript below:

NBC
Meet the Press
January 7, 2018
10:36:02 AM Eastern

(…)

CHUCK TODD: All right. Let me just start with this. You talk about “fly on the wall” access. Explain to me what that was like. Walk me through how you were a fly on the wall in the West Wing.

MICHAEL WOLFF: You know, I literally kind of knocked on the door and said, “Can I come in?” and they said “Okay.” And I came in. I sat on the couch and that’s the point of view that I’ve written this book from. I mean, in the real intention of this book, is to have readers sit with me on the couch and watch what’s going on in the West Wing. I went into this with absolutely no agenda whatsoever. I have no particular politics when it comes to Donald Trump. This is really all about human nature.

(…)

TODD: You were pretty tough on the coverage of Donald Trump early in 2017. Here’s something you wrote in 2017, in January, so: "To the media, it is a given that Trump is largely out of control and that the people around him are struggling at all times to save him from himself--and largely failing. This view persists … despite Trump's victory flattening almost every media assumption about his supposed haplessness and lack of strategy."

And you were just- you thought that the media was too one-sided or that was the impression you were giving. I have to say, when you read this book, you almost seem to reinforce the entire media narrative you were criticizing.

WOLFF: You know, I think that in the beginning, the media took this point of view without having had this experience. You know, I went into this, a decent part of the country went into this, his entire staff went into this thinking maybe this can work. It’s different, even peculiar, but who knows what can happen here. And that was exactly my, my frame of reference. I would have been delighted to have written a contrarian account here. Donald Trump, this unexpected president, is actually going to succeed. OK, that’s not the story. He is not going to succeed. This is worse than everybody thought.

(…)

WOLFF: It’s that bad. I mean, it's an extraordinary moment in time. And the last several days focused on my book I think are proof of this. This is what happened here, what's going on here. This is, you know, I think not an exaggeration and not unreasonable. It's not unreasonable to say this is 25th Amendment kind of stuff.

TODD: Did anybody say that in the West Wing to you?

WOLFF: All the time.

TODD: 25th Amendment? They would bring up the 25th Amendment?

WOLFF: Yes, actually, they would say, sort of in the mid-period, “We’re not at a 25th Amendment level yet.” Or they would-

TODD: That’s alarming.

WOLFF: This is alarming in every way. And then this went on, “Okay, this is a little 25th Amendment.” So the 25th Amendment is a concept that is alive every day in the White House.

(…)

TODD: One final question. You said something in a BBC interview: that you thought this presidency was going to hit a wall. What did that mean? Hit a wall by 2020 or before then?

WOLFF: Um, I think - I don’t know when the train is going to finally hit the wall. I think the entire narrative of this presidency and this candidacy and then presidency has been it’s going to hit a wall. And the thing that keeps everybody’s attention absolutely riveted - this global attention - is that the train keeps going, but the wall is still there. I mean one of the things, I think, about this book and why it’s hit such a chord and become this cultural moment is it’s given everybody this focused opportunity to say, “Holy crap.”

(…)


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