On The View Wednesday morning, Meghan McCain put Michael Wolff through his most difficult interview yet, pressing him to answer for some of the errors in his new book Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House.
The sensational book — which was released earlier than its scheduled publication date, after excerpts published last week sent political insiders into a frenzy — contains countless stories of dysfunction within the Trump administration over the last year, most of which reflects poorly on the president and those surrounding him.
The factual basis of much of Wolff’s material has been questioned, however, including the validity a number of the quotes and stories he ascribes to individuals both in and out of the White House.
“You know, Michael, your credibility is being questioned. Trump says the book is full of lies-” McCain began, before Wolff interrupted to ask who exactly was questioning his credibility.
“Let me finish,” McCain shot back. “New York Times’ Maggie Haberman, New York Times’ John Martin, David Brooks, CNN’s Alisyn Camerota, Tony Blair, Tom Barrack, Kate Walsh, Anna Wintour all denying quotes. . . . There are a lot of factual errors in here . . . How can I trust some of these quotes when, again . . . all these people are denying these quotes and stories attributed to them?”
“Well, you have to look at the great number of people not denying them,” Wolff protested. And later he insisted, “The New York Times is going into some amount of apoplexy about this probably because I kind of scooped them.”
Later in the interivew, when Wolff admitted that he had quoted material from an ostensibly off-the-record dinner he hosted at his home with Roger Ailes and Steve Bannon, McCain groused, “This is why people hate journalists, by the way. It’s why I don’t believe in the concept of ‘off the record,’ this right here.”
Wolff did admit in the interview to having mixed up the names of the Berman brothers in his book — one of the several glaring factual errors the book contains — but he never addressed the other errors McCain mentioned, nor the fact that a laundry list of prominent individuals are denying having made the comments Wolff ascribes to them.
While many seem intent on believing the claims in Fire and Fury, McCain’s decision to pressure Wolff for some of his mistakes revealed the author’s unwillingness or inability to account for them.
Here is a video of the back-and-forth: