President Donald Trump continues to defend himself in the wake of a new book that suggests top White House aides fear that he is unfit for the job.
In a tweetstorm Saturday morning, the president called himself a “very stable genius” and called being “really smart” one of his greatest assets. Trump cited his career in business and reality television and his victory in last year’s election as evidence of his mental prowess. And he again lashed out at the ongoing special counsel investigation into his campaign’s contacts with Russian operatives, calling suggestions that he colluded with Moscow a “total hoax on the American public.”
“….Actually, throughout my life, my two greatest assets have been mental stability and being, like, really smart. Crooked Hillary Clinton also played these cards very hard and, as everyone knows, went down in flames. I went from VERY successful businessman, to top T.V. Star…..” Trump tweeted Saturday, “….to President of the United States (on my first try). I think that would qualify as not smart, but genius….and a very stable genius at that!”
Trump’s outburst came a day after the public release of a new book, “Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House,” by Michael Wolff, a New York media columnist who said he spent time in the West Wing interviewing top aides, as well as Trump.
Wolff paints the picture of a president who is unfit for the job and aides who come to fear Trump is not capable of, or interested in, processing information and making important decisions. Late Friday, Trump blasted Wolff as a “total loser,” and the president mocked his former campaign chairman and White House adviser, Stephen Bannon, who was a key source for the book. Bannon criticized other aides and Trump’s son, calling a meeting at Trump Tower last year between Donald Jr. and a Russian lawyer “treasonous.”
“Michael Wolff is a total loser who made up stories in order to sell this really boring and untruthful book. He used Sloppy Steve Bannon, who cried when he got fired and begged for his job. Now Sloppy Steve has been dumped like a dog by almost everyone,” Trump said on Twitter.
White House aides have mounted an all-out attack on the book since it was first reported on Wednesday, calling it “fiction” and a “complete fantasy.” And Trump’s lawyers sent cease-and-desist letters to Wolff and his publisher demanding they not release the book. But the publisher, Henry Holt, moved up the release date from later this month to Friday amid the publicity, and hard copies were quickly sold out in the Washington area.
Reporters asked White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders on Thursday to respond to the book’s suggestion that Trump is mentally unfit for office.
“It’s disgraceful and laughable,” she said. “If he was unfit, he probably wouldn’t be sitting there and wouldn’t have defeated the most qualified group of candidates the Republican Party has ever seen. This is an incredibly strong and good leader. That’s why we’ve had such a successful 2017 and why we’re going to continue to do great things as we move forward in this administration.”