In a book that will be released January 29th, Fox News’ Howard Kurtz reveals some troubling news about Trump, particularly in regards to his instructions to Steve Bannon.
Kurtz’s book—Media Madness: Donald Trump, the Press, and the War over the Truth—is less critical than Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House, Michael Wolff’s blockbuster best seller that exposed all the ugly in the Trump White House, but a common theme resonates in both books: total freakin’ chaos, backstabbing, and mayhem.
The Washington Post reviewed an advance copy.
Bannon, Kurtz writes, told Trump when he left the White House in August that he planned to go after Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), saying his main goal was “to bring him down.”
“Trump said that was fine, that Bannon should go ahead,” Kurtz writes.
On Bannon’s feud with Ivanka Trump:
At one point, Kurtz writes that Stephen K. Bannon — Trump’s former chief strategist who was a key on-the-record source for Wolff’s book and seems likely to have talked to Kurtz — dresses down the president’s daughter early in the administration.
“My daughter loves me as a dad,” Bannon told Ivanka, according to Kurtz. “You love your dad. I get that. But you’re just another staffer who doesn’t know what you’re doing.” (WaPo)
Kurtz also details a White House meeting between Bannon, the president, and Ivanka in which Bannon accused Ivanka of leaking damaging information to the press — and her dad agreed, saying “Baby, I think Steve’s right here.”
And White House staff secretly say that Trump has “Defiance Disorder.” via WaPo:
“The phrase refers to Trump’s seeming compulsion to do whatever it is his advisers are most strongly urging against, leaving his team to handle the fallout.”
From the book description:
- Why White House strategist Steve Bannon told Trump he is in danger of being impeached
- How the love-hate relationship between the president and Morning Joe hosts—Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski—turned entirely to hate
- How Kellyanne Conway felt betrayed by journalists who befriended her—and how she fought back
- How elite, mainstream news reporters—named and quoted—openly express their blatant contempt for Trump
- How Bannon tried to block short-lived Communications Director Anthony Scaramucci—and why Trump soured on him
- How Ivanka and Jared Kushner aren’t the liberals the pundits want them to be—and why Trump tried to discourage them from joining the White House
- Why Trump believes some journalists harbor hatred for him—and how some liberals despise his voters
- How Trump is a far more pragmatic politician than the press often acknowledges (and how the press dismisses his flip-flops when he flops their way)
- What Trump got wrong about Charlottesville—and how Steve Bannon predicted the debacle
- How the media consistently overreached on the Russian “collusion” scandal
- Why Trump actually likes journalists, secretly meets with them, and allows the press unprecedented access
- Why Reince Priebus couldn’t do his job—and the real reason he left the White House
- How Sean Spicer privately berated journalists for bad reporting—and why he and Kellyanne Conway were relentlessly attacked by the media
A graduate of the Columbia School of Journalism, Kurtz is a journalist and media critic who writes a weekly column for Fox News and hosts the conservative-biased network’s weekend show “Media Buzz.” He was a reporter for The Washington Post for 30 years, serving as national affairs correspondent, New York bureau chief, and deputy national editor. Additionally, he was a prolific writer for The New Republic, The Washington Monthly, and New York magazine, and the host of “Reliable Sources” on CNN. His previous books include Media Circus, Hot Air, Spin Cycle, The Fortune Tellers, and Reality Show.
A list of shocking quotes from Kurtz’s book, Media Madness: Donald Trump, the Press, and the War over the Truth.
Images via Gage Skidmore, Flickr