White House aides were caught off-guard by the explosive claims in a book on the Trump administration

  • White House aides were reportedly scrambling to do damage-control as excerpts from an explosive new book on the Trump administration made the rounds on Wednesday.
  • The book, written by journalist Michael Wolff, paints the picture of a West Wing continuously mired in conflict under President Donald Trump.
  • According to the excerpts, former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon delivered the most stinging blows, targeting Trump's adult children and Trump himself, among others.

The multiple explosive passages from a new book on life inside the Trump administration sent White House aides scrambling to do damage-control on Wednesday.

Portions of the book, "Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House," paint a picture of a chaotic and bitterly divided West Wing under President Donald Trump.

The claims, though explosive, reflected much of what was already publicly known about the current administration, but the most salacious commentary — coming from the president's former chief strategist Steve Bannon — left White House staffers reeling just three days after returning to work from a long holiday break.

A report from The Washington Post's Josh Dawsey and Ashley Parker on Wednesday night noted that Trump's aides "thought they had more time to prepare for the book's formal release." Instead, they spent a portion of their day trying to obtain a copy of the book, brainstorming the president's response, and fielding calls from allies as a steady trickle of salacious clips propagated online.

Trump staffers were in a similar predicament less than a week ago; blindsided by big Trump-related news that dominated headlines worldwide after The New York Times published a story based on a 30-minute, unsupervised interview with the president.

Members past and present of President Trump's inner circle
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Members past and present of President Trump's inner circle
Hope Hicks: Former White House Director of Strategic Communications
Melania Trump: Wife to President Trump and first lady of the United States
Gary Cohn: Former Director of the U.S. National Economic Council
Michael Flynn: Former National Security Advisor, no longer with the Trump administration
Ivanka Trump: First daughter and presidential adviser
Gen. John Kelly: Former Secretary of Homeland Security, current White House chief of staff
Steve Bannon: Former White House chief strategist, no longer with the Trump administration
Jared Kushner: Son-in-law and senior adviser
Kellyanne Conway: Former Trump campaign manager, current counselor to the president
Reince Priebus: Former White House chief of staff, no longer with the Trump administration
Anthony Scaramucci: Former White House communications director, no longer with the Trump administration
Sarah Huckabee Sanders: White House press secretary
Donald Trump Jr.: First son to President Trump
Sean Spicer: Former White House press secretary, soon to be no longer with the Trump administration
Jeff Sessions: U.S. attorney general
Steve Mnuchin: Secretary of Treasury
Paul Manafort: Former Trump campaign chairman
Carter Page: Former foreign policy adviser to Trump's presidential campaign
Omarosa Manigault: Former Director of communications for the Office of Public Liaison
Jason Miller: Former White House communications director, no longer with the Trump administration
Mike Dubke: Former White House communications director, no longer with the Trump administration
Stephen Miller: Trump senior policy adviser
Corey Lewandowski: Former Trump campaign manager
Eric Trump: Son to President Trump
Rex Tillerson: Former Secretary of State
Sebastian Gorka: Former deputy assistant to the president in the Trump administration, no longer in his White House role
Roger Stone: Former Trump campaign adviser, current host of Stone Cold Truth
Betsy DeVos: U.S. Education Secretary

The interview, which took place with a Times reporter while Trump enjoyed some downtime at one of his golf resorts in Florida, apparently blindsided Trump staffers back in Washington. One unnamed White House aide who The Washington Post described as "frustrated" called Trump's interview "embarrassing."

On Wednesday, Trump forcefully chastised Bannon for his cutting missives. An attorney representing the president threatened Bannon in a letter, hours later.

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