Fire And Fury Inside The Trump White House Published

Portraits of Theodore and Franklin Roosevelt loomed watchfully. Five US senators with decades of collective experience stood in deference at their chairs. Donald Trump was about to enter the room, a prospect that assures a frisson of unpredictability.

The president strode in, shook hands with Chuck Grassley and patted Lindsey Graham on the back. Graham playfully punched the air.

“Lindsey used to be a great enemy of mine,” Trump told the gathering when all were seated a few minutes later, “and now he’s a great friend of mine.”

Trump mounts extraordinary defence of his ‘mental stability’
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The senator for South Carolina shifted awkwardly in his chair and grinned: “I like me too, so we have something in common.” There was a ripple of laughter.

Later, when 71-year-old Trump turned to Senator James Lankford and called him “Tom”, everyone pretended to ignore it.

Here in the elegantly appointed Roosevelt Room, cocooned in the West Wing as if in a wartime bunker, Trump and the loyalists who lavished praise on his leadership could maintain the pretence of business as usual. But outside, political fires were burning. The White House had been hit by a bombshell book that portrayed it as a hive of discord, dysfunction and farce, and the president himself as ignorant, capricious and clinically unfit for the office once occupied by the Roosevelts.

Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House, by Michael Wolff, a devastating fly-on-the-wall account of life at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, has stirred speculation over the mental health of the man who began the week boasting to the world of the size of his nuclear button. “His stability,” Carl Bernstein, a veteran Washington Post reporter best known for his work on the Watergate scandal, told CNN. “That’s really what this book is about.”

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