Michael Wolff on Trump: You can't listen to him talk without considering the possibility that 'something is grievously amiss'

 

  • Michael Wolff, the man who wrote a revealing book on the Trump administration, shared what it was like to watch White House staff interact with President Donald Trump.
  • In an interview that aired Monday night, Wolff said: "You cannot listen to this man talk without at least contemplating the possibility that something is grievously amiss."
  • Trump mental health and acuity are among the many discussions in Wolff's book, "Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House."


The author Michael Wolff, who wrote the Trump administration tell-all book that has both riveted and enraged critics and supporters of President Donald Trump over the last week, made some revealing assertions about Trump in an interview that aired Monday night.

Wolff talked about his experience watching West Wing staffers engaging with, and talking to, Trump while he observed the president's first few months in office last year. He told CNN's Don Lemon that those conversations had prompted some concerns about the president's mental health and acuity.

"I am just reporting the facts on the ground," Wolff said of the time he spent conducting interviews and observing administration officials in the White House. "You don't have to be a doctor to find it notable and alarming that, as everyone on his staff does, that he repeats, and repeats, and repeats the same thing, in the same conversation."

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Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House
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Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House
CORTE MADERA, CA - JANUARY 05: Copies of the book 'Fire and Fury' by author Michael Wolff are displayed on a shelf at Book Passage on January 5, 2018 in Corte Madera, California. A controversial new book about the inner workings of the Trump administration hit bookstore shelves nearly a week earlier than anticipated after lawyers for Donald Trump issued a cease and desist letter to publisher Henry Holt & Co. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
CORTE MADERA, CA - JANUARY 05: Copies of the book 'Fire and Fury' by author Michael Wolff are displayed on a shelf at Book Passage on January 5, 2018 in Corte Madera, California. A controversial new book about the inner workings of the Trump administration hit bookstore shelves nearly a week earlier than anticipated after lawyers for Donald Trump issued a cease and desist letter to publisher Henry Holt & Co. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
A man holds a copy of the book 'Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House' by Michael Wolff after buying it at a bookstore in Washington, DC on January 5, 2018. The book was rushed into bookstores and onto e-book platforms four days ahead of schedule due to what its publisher called 'unprecedented demand' -- and after Trump's bid to block it failed. The book -- which has sent shockwaves across Washington -- quickly sold out in shops in the US capital, with some even lining up at midnight to get their hands on it. Trump has decried the instant best-seller as 'phony' and 'full of lies.' / AFP PHOTO / ANDREW CABALLERO-REYNOLDS / The erroneous mention[s] appearing in the metadata of this photo by ANDREW CABALLERO-REYNOLDS has been modified in AFP systems in the following manner: [January 5, 2018] instead of [December 5, 2018]. Please immediately remove the erroneous mention[s] from all your online services and delete it (them) from your servers. If you have been authorized by AFP to distribute it (them) to third parties, please ensure that the same actions are carried out by them. Failure to promptly comply with these instructions will entail liability on your part for any continued or post notification usage. Therefore we thank you very much for all your attention and prompt action. We are sorry for the inconvenience this notification may cause and remain at your disposal for any further information you may require. (Photo credit should read ANDREW CABALLERO-REYNOLDS/AFP/Getty Images)
MEET THE PRESS -- Pictured: (l-r) Michael Wolff, author, Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House and moderator Chuck Todd appear on 'Meet the Press' in Washington, D.C., Sunday, Jan. 7, 2018. (Photo by: William B. Plowman/NBC/NBC NewsWire via Getty Images)
MEET THE PRESS -- Pictured: (l-r) Michael Wolff, author, Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House and moderator Chuck Todd appear on 'Meet the Press' in Washington, D.C., Sunday, Jan. 7, 2018. (Photo by: William B. Plowman/NBC/NBC NewsWire via Getty Images)
TODAY -- Pictured: Savannah Guthrie and Michael Wolff on Friday, January 5, 2018 -- (Photo by: Nathan Congleton/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
TODAY -- Pictured: Michael Wolff on Friday, January 5, 2018 -- (Photo by: Nathan Congleton/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
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"I mean, everybody has to stand there and look like this is not a crisis," Wolff said. People close to the president, including his family members, have vehemently rejected speculation about Trump's health. When he was a candidate in 2016, he released a letter from his personal doctor that claimed he was in "excellent health."

But Wolff painted a picture of White House staff working to shield Trump from situations that may expose him to such scrutiny. "In September, they canceled a '60 Minutes' interview because they felt he couldn't do it," Wolff said. "They went, instead, did a 'Hannity' interview because [Sean] Hannity would give them the questions.

"I know Hannity denies this, of course, but it was an open secret in the White House that he got the questions," Wolff added.

"If you interviewed the president, you would call me up and say, 'oh, my God,'" Wolff said, referring to suspicions about Trump's mental health.

When Lemon asked Wolff if he had the same thought when he interviewed Trump, Wolff said yes.

"Because it's completely alarming. The guy can't go put one coherent sentence after another. He's off, he can't stay on subject, he can't stay on point — and then you come back to the same off-point thing he said five minutes ago, he's now saying it again."

Wolff noted that some people in the administration tend to loosely reference the 25th Amendment — the constitutional provision that allows 14 specific people to remove a sitting president from office — when talking about whether Trump is fit for office. He called the question "unavoidable." Lemon asked him to explain why.

"You cannot listen to this man talk without at least contemplating the possibility that something is greviously amiss."

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