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Michael Wolff, the author of the upcoming book “Landslide” documenting the final weeks of Donald Trump’s administration, claims that no one has told the former president directly that he lost the election in the nine months since it happened.
The author made the claim during an interview with Business Insider.
When asked if Mr Trump knows he lost the election, Mr Wolff claimed the former president does not.
“[He is] Absolutely certain that he won the election and that if he did not win it, it could only be that it was stolen from him. And that everybody else also sees it that way. So this is delusional, which is the word I use fairly often in the book,” he said.
He also said that describing Mr Trump as “mentally deranged” would be an “obvious conclusion”. The author described Mr Trump as someone who was “not too bright in their own particular reality” but nonetheless possessing “extraordinary gifts for getting on the wavelength [of his] audience”.
Nicholas Carlson, Business Insider’s Global Editor in Chief, conducted the interview. He told Mr Wolff that while reading his book, he kept waiting for someone to just tell Mr Trump that he lost. Such an interaction is never documented in the book.
Mr Wolff said it is hard for people in Mr Trump’s presence to tell him anything he does not want to hear. The author said the former president “doesn’t hear anything that he doesn’t want to hear. He’s unable to acknowledge any deviation, any slightest departure, any merest qualification of something different than what he thinks or want to think”.
He claimed that no one has directly told Mr Trump he lost.
“You cannot say anything to Trump that he doesn’t want to hear. Everybody knows that. So to do that would mark you as incompetent or a fool or a silly person,” he said. “It just doesn’t happen.”
He did claim that some of Mr Trump’s billionaire friends have tried to “level with him”, but that even in those encounters the friends have to step lightly when dealing with the former president in order to stay in his favour.
“But just think of it as talking to a crazy person, a person whose capacity to parse reality in some logical way is so diminished that you have to humour them, essentially,” he said. “Everybody knows that reality can’t get through here, so the best you can do is work at the edges.”