President Donald Trump took to Twitter late Thursday night to slam a scandalous new book about his first year in office as “full of lies,” just hours ahead of its new, pushed-up Friday morning release.
In the same tweet, the president also seemingly coined a new nickname for former White House strategist Steve Bannon: “Sloppy Steve.”
“I authorized Zero access to White House (actually turned him down many times) for author of phony book! I never spoke to him for book. Full of lies, misrepresentations and sources that don’t exist. Look at this guy’s past and watch what happens to him and Sloppy Steve!” Trump tweeted, without naming journalist Michael Wolff, author of “Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House.”
At Thursday’s press briefing, White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders denied that Wolff had special access to the White House.
“There are probably more than 30 requests for access to information for Michael Wolff that were repeatedly denied,” Sanders said. “At least two dozen requests are of him asking to have an interview with the president. He never discussed this book with the president … To me, that would be the most important voice [Trump’s] you could have if you were looking to write about an individual.”
Sanders said Wolff was denied access to Trump because “we saw him for what he was. No reason to waste the president of the United States’ time.”
In “Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House,” Bannon is quoted as worrying about the legal implications of the June 2016 meeting between Donald Trump Jr., Jared Kushner, Paul Manafort and a group of Russians who promised damaging information against Hillary Clinton.
“Even if you thought that this was not treasonous, or unpatriotic, or bad [expletive], and I happen to think it’s all of that you should have called the FBI immediately,” Bannon is quoted as saying, according to Wolff’s book.
As ABC News first reported, Trump lawyer Charles Harder demanded in a letter Wednesday on behalf of his client that Wolff and his publisher Henry Holt & Co. immediately “cease and desist from any further publication, release or dissemination” of the book.
But on Thursday, Henry Holt & Co. said it was undeterred by the cease and desist letter, and was pushing up its release date from next Tuesday to Friday morning.
“Due to unprecedented demand, we are moving the on-sale date for all formats of ‘Fire and Fury,’ by Michael Wolff, to Friday, January 5, at 9 a.m. ET, from the current on-sale date of Tuesday, January 9,” the publisher said in a statement.
It followed up with another statement adding, “Henry Holt confirms that we received a cease and desist letter from an attorney for President Trump. We see ‘Fire and Fury’ as an extraordinary contribution to our national discourse, and are proceeding with the publication of the book.”