Michael Wolff to publish third exposé of Trump, covering last days in office


Michael Wolff’s third book about Donald Trump, focusing on the final days of his presidency, will be published in July under a provocative title: Landslide.

Trump lost the 2020 election to Joe Biden by more than 7m ballots in the popular vote and by 306-232 in the electoral college – a result he called a landslide when it was in his favour against Hillary Clinton in 2016.

Trump has pursued the lie that Biden’s victory was the result of electoral fraud – a speech on the subject fuelled the deadly attack on the US Capitol in Washington on 6 January, leading to a second impeachment trial.

Though Trump told Fox News on Wednesday night he “didn’t win” and wished Biden well, he also said the election was “unbelievably unfair”.

Wolff published his first Trump tell-all in January 2018, rocking the White House when the Guardian broke news of the book, Fire and Fury.

Trump sought to block publication, calling Wolff “a total loser who made up stories in order to sell this really boring and untruthful book”. The reading public ignored him: the explosive exposé sold 1.7m copies in its first three weeks.

In 2019 Wolff published Siege, which looked at a “presidency under fire”, tackling topics including Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian election interference and ties between Trump and Moscow.

Wolff no longer enjoyed unfettered West Wing access but he did produce a bombshell, again first reported by the Guardian: that Mueller’s team had prepared and shelved an indictment of the president, on three counts of obstruction of justice.

Wolff said he obtained the documents from “sources close to the Office of the Special Counsel”. The special counsel rejected his claim, a spokesman saying: “The documents that you’ve described do not exist.”

Amid such controversy, and with competitors having flooded the shelves with reportage on the chaotic Trump presidency, Siege did not sell as well as Fire and Fury.

Like its predecessor, Siege used Steve Bannon as a major source. By then, however, the far-right provocateur was no longer a White House strategist or even, thanks to his cooperation for Fire and Fury which enraged the president, a major figure in Trumpworld.

Landslide.
Landslide. Photograph: AP

On Thursday, Wolff’s publisher said he had interviewed the former president. It also said Landslide: The Final Days of the Trump Presidency, would focus on his “tumultuous last months at the helm of the country”.

Out on 27 July from Little, Brown in the UK and Macmillan in the US, the book is based on what the publishers called “extraordinary access to White House aides and to the former president himself, yielding a wealth of new information and insights about what really happened inside the highest office in the land, and the world”.

Trump has claimed to be writing “the book of all books” himself. In a statement last week, he claimed he had “turned down two book deals, from the most unlikely of publishers”, adding: “I do not want a deal right now. I’m writing like crazy anyway, however.”

After major publishers said they would not touch a Trump memoir, he insisted “two of the biggest and most prestigious publishing houses have made very substantial offers which I have rejected”.

“That doesn’t mean I won’t accept them sometime in the future,” he said. “… If my book will be the biggest of them all … does anybody really believe that they are above making a lot of money?”

Possibly to Trump’s chagrin, those who served him in office have found publishers eager to release their memoirs – and to pay a lot of money to do so.

Trump’s vice-president, Mike Pence, has a “seven-figure”, two-book deal – despite a staff rebellion at Simon & Schuster.

Jared Kushner, Trump’s son-in-law, has a deal for a “definitive” account of the Trump presidency. Broadside Books, a conservative imprint at HarperCollins, has said the book will come out in early 2022. The price of the deal was not disclosed.

Last November, shortly after Trump’s defeat by Joe Biden, Barack Obama published the first volume of a projected two-part memoir that was sold to Penguin Random House with books by his wife, Michelle Obama, for a reported $65m. The former president’s book, A Promised Land, sold strongly.

Another former president, Bill Clinton, has moved into fiction. The President’s Daughter – his second thriller, in this case about a president who also happens to be a former Navy Seal – is again written with James Patterson. This week, it debuted at No1 on the New York Times hardcover fiction bestsellers list.



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