Michael Wolff wrote Trump was crazy and dumb and Trump fired back on Twitter that he was a smart, stable genius but the master of the put-down (who once immolated Lindsey Graham by calling him a dumb, crazy, nut-job in one breath) had slipped: Trump tweeting he wasn’t crazy sounded crazy.
Wolff wasn’t entirely unkind to Trump: In his book he said the Donald Trump you meet in person is different from Donald Trump you see in public: In person Trump is polite, courteous and flattering. But Wolff also, less kindly, described Trump as a child with a child’s need for quick gratification and as a vain man without guile – which sounds odd until you think about it: When a Washington politician sets out to deceive you he does it with cleverness (and guile) but when a thought pops into Trump’s head in the next breath it rolls off his tongue without calculation.
Wolff was less kind to Steve Bannon who he described as a failure on Wall Street and in Hollywood but who, then, in a stroke of good fortune landed in the good graces of Rebekah Mercer who told Trump she and her father would contribute $5 million if Trump would hire Bannon to run his campaign.
The way Wolff tells the story Bannon, by his own lights, set out on his new mission with the best of intentions – but then immolated himself by telling Wolff his own stories about Trump.