Since the first excerpts from Michael Wolff’s "Fire and Fury" were published on Wednesday, its numerous (in)credulity-inducing details have dominated the news cycle and most of the official press briefings since. President Donald Trump has insisted that Wolff had "zero" access, and that the book’s contents are gossip leaked by former White House Chief Strategist and Trump campaign leader Steve Bannon, whom Trump rechristened “Sloppy Steve” and slapped with a cease-and-desist.
And, as Trump tends to do, he doubled down on half-a-week’s worth of denials and repudiations in a bizarre Saturday morning tweetstorm that saw him defending his sanity and intelligence while lashing out at two of his favorite targets: Hillary Clinton and former ABC White House Correspondent Brian Ross.
Far from being mentally infirm, Trump insists that his “mental stability” has been one of his greatest assets “throughout my life,” along with the fact he’s "like, really smart."
Furthermore, the fact that he was able to win the presidency on his first attempt, with no prior experience in politics (except for his 2000 bid for the Reform Party nomination, of course) prove that he’s not only a genius but "a very stable genius" at that. Saturday morning’s tweets essentially pick up from where Trump left off last night, when he tweeted that "Sloppy Steve" "cried when he got fired and begged for his job."
Interposed between the fiery denunciations, Trump includes a shout out of sorts to the Washington Post, which ran a Trump-friendly headline about the African-American unemployment rate falling to 6.8%.
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. Too bad! https://t.co/mEeUhk5ZV9— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 6, 2018
The African American unemployment rate fell to 6.8%, the lowest rate in 45 years. I am so happy about this News! And, in the Washington Post (of all places), headline states, “Trumps first year jobs numbers were very, very good.”— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 6, 2018
Ross was suspended by ABC late last year after erroneously reporting that Michael Flynn was prepared to testify that Trump ordered him to establish contact with the Russian government during the campaign – an action that would be tantamount to conspiring with a foreign power to influence an American election. However, in reality, Flynn planned to testify that Trump senior adviser (and son-in-law) Jared Kushner asked him to meet with the Russians during the transition, a request that is not only legal, but routine.
Brian Ross, the reporter who made a fraudulent live newscast about me that drove the Stock Market down 350 points (billions of dollars), was suspended for a month but is now back at ABC NEWS in a lower capacity. He is no longer allowed to report on Trump. Should have been fired!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 6, 2018
Trump concludes that, since Special Counsel Bob Mueller has so far failed to take him down, the Democrats and mainstream media are resorting to questioning his mental stability, hoping to convince Vice President Mike Pence and members of Trump’s cabinet to invoke the 25th amendment – something that’s been widely discussed over the past week.
Now that Russian collusion, after one year of intense study, has proven to be a total hoax on the American public, the Democrats and their lapdogs, the Fake News Mainstream Media, are taking out the old Ronald Reagan playbook and screaming mental stability and intelligence.....— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 6, 2018
....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.....— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 6, 2018
....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!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 6, 2018
Trump sued Wolff’s publisher, Henry Holt & Co., to block the book’s publication, which only inspired the publisher to move its release date to yesterday in the interest of
furthering the public discourse cashing in on the hype.
Some of the book’s claims – like the idea that Trump wouldn’t know who former House Speaker John Boehner was despite tweeting about him several times – have been disputed by Wolff’s fellow journalists. Also, many of Wolff’s peers have criticized him for cynically criticizing his fellow journalists during several television appearances as a way to ingratiate himself with the Trump inner circle.
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Naturally, and not surprisingly, this morning’s twitter outburst has inspired a flurry of responses on twitter, with users riffing off Trump’s “very stable genius” line.
Almost every working political journalist in the US tweeted some variation of this:
Calling yourself “a very stable genius” seems like evidence of neither.— John Avlon (@JohnAvlon) January 6, 2018
As more details from the book hit the web, it will surely continue to dominate the news cycle into next week if not beyond, and if history is any guide, expect Trump - unable to find closure - to accelerate his angry tweets in the coming days, while digging an even deeper hole for his critics.