'I literally knocked on the door': Michael Wolff explains White House access

The journalist behind the tell-all book that’s outraged President Trump claims he got his fly-on-the-wall access in the simplest way — knocking on the front door.

Michael Wolff, author of “Fire and Fury,” which was published this week and depicts the current White House as a mess of incompetence and confusion, told NBC News’ Chuck Todd on “Meet the Press” on Sunday morning that it wasn’t particularly hard to traipse into the West Wing.

“I literally knocked on the door and said, ‘Can I come in?’ And they said, ‘OK.’ And I came in. I sat on the couch, and that’s the point of view I’ve written this book from,” he said.

According to Wolff, his real intention with writing “Fire and Fury” was to have readers sit on the couch with him inside the White House to see what’s actually going on. He described the book as focusing mainly on human nature and said he didn’t have an agenda or any particular politics about Trump going into this project.

Wolff said he tried to be unobtrusive and didn’t want White House staffers to notice him any more than they noticed the furniture. He said most people were willing to talk after hearing that Trump had approved the project.

“My goal was to keep going until somebody said, ‘Go away,’” he explained.

NBC News’ Chuck Todd, right, talks to Wolff about his book on the Trump administration. (Screengrab: NBC)

When Todd asked if Wolff promised a more complimentary picture of the White House for access, he replied that he certainly wasn’t as flattering as Trump himself.

“The first time I came in it was like, ‘Oh my God! Unbelievable! Michael Wolff. Do you know this guy? He’s the best,” he said. “I’m sure I returned a tip of the hat to Donald Trump, but yeah, I didn’t say anything to get me thrown out.”

Wolff said it’s not unreasonable to say that the 25th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which clarifies what would happen if the president resigns or is removed from office, could apply to what he witnessed in the White House. He said the concept of the 25th Amendment is “alive every day at the White House.”

Reaction to the provocative book has been swift and pointed. The Republican National Committee condemned Wolff as a “liar and phony.” White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said Wolff’s claims were “ridiculous” and “absolutely laughable” on Thursday. Both pointed out that the book contains many factual errors.

On Sunday morning, shortly after Wolff’s appearance on “Meet the Press,” Trump dismissed Wolff as a “totally discredited author.” Trump claimed he would weather this criticism the same way that conservative hero and former President Ronald Reagan had in his second term.


Trump also defended himself as “a very stable genius” during a press conference on Saturday when asked about his mental state. He called Wolff’s book “a work of fiction” and disputed Wolff’s claim that they had a three-hour interview in the White House: “It didn’t exist, OK? It’s in his imagination.”

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