The last time we heard from Michael Wolff—author of the stratospheric Trump-era bestseller Fire and Fury—appearances on his nationwide book tour were mysteriously vanishing. In alleging, with no evidence, that the president had had an affair in the White House, he had somehow united a country previously torn asunder. Even theSkimm, that approachable fixture of many a young person’s morning email routine, was throwing haymakers against this foul creature of New York media.
But it appears Wolff has recovered from all the PR blows. Axios’ Mike Allen had a new item this morning in which Wolff let slip that he’s signed on with publisher Henry Holt for some sort of sequel. BE SMART:
As for his plans for Part Deux, Wolff told me: “It’s untitled, unscheduled, unfocused.”
And then the wry coup de grâce: “It’ll obviously deal with American politics at this point in time.”
For those who don’t remember Wolff’s methodology the first time around, he spent roughly a year sucking up to the Trump administration during numerous White House visits and outside media appearances. Then, he absolutely torched everyone involved. Steve Bannon, apparently one of Wolff’s prime sources, was quoted in Fire and Fury as calling the Trump Tower meeting between Donald Trump Jr. and Russians as “treasonous.” The rest of the gang at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. were portrayed as incompetent backstabbers.
The pro-Trump crowd quibbled with the accuracy of some particular Wolff anecdotes—“reporting” has never really been his thing, per se—but the book basically amounted to a more colorful, longform version of everything else printed about the Trump White House before it.
My question: Who is going to talk to him on the second go? Wolff pulled off one of the most high-profile journalistic cons in recent memory—an historic bait-and-switch mission that likely succeeded only because of the hubris of the particular man sitting in the Oval Office.
Will he don a fake mustache to throw White House aides off his scent? Will he adopt a pen name like, say, Wichael Molff? It’s unclear. This is the Trump White House, though, so we can’t discount the simplest explanation: enough people there are dumb enough—or hate each other enough—to still be talking to him. I left a message with his publisher, Henry Holt, to make sure he’s not yanking our chains.