Former White House adviser Sebastian GorkaSebastian Lukacs GorkaGOP Senate candidate says Fauci is 'mass murderer,' should be jailed rather than 'hero' Rittenhouse Greitens Senate bid creates headache for GOP YouTube bans Sebastian Gorka's channel after repeated violations MORE says that he was instructed to cooperate with author Michael Wolff for the book “Fire and Fury” while he was working at the White House last year.
Writing in an op-ed for The Hill on Monday, Gorka said that he was at one point instructed to play ball with Wolff but that he declined because he thought the author was primed to damage the president.
“So, when I met Michael Wolff in [former chief of staff] Reince PriebusReinhold (Reince) Richard PriebusTim Scott says he'd support Trump reelection bid Hill: Trump reelection would spur 'one constitutional crisis after another' Wisconsin GOP quietly prepares Ron Johnson backup plans MORE’ office, where he was waiting to talk [former chief strategist] Steve BannonStephen (Steve) Kevin BannonJan. 6 panel faces double-edged sword with Alex Jones, Roger Stone Bannon pushes for documents in court case to be released Trump allies leaning on his executive privilege claims MORE and after I had been told to also speak to him for his book, my attitude was polite but firm: ‘Thanks but no thanks’,” Gorka writes. “Our brief encounter reinforced my gut feeling that this oleaginous scribe had no interest in being fair and unbiased."
In a text to The Hill, Gorka did not say who had asked him to speak with Wolff but that it was not Trump or Bannon.
The only other person mentioned in Gorka’s op-ed is Priebus, who did not respond to a request for comment.
In a subsequent tweet, Gorka said the request to work with Wolff came "externally."
The White House has tried to downplay the access Wolff says he had to administration officials, even as the author claims to have been a fixture in the West Wing in 2017.
Wolff claims to have interviewed Trump on several occasions and said that his reporting is backed by more than 200 interviews with those closest to President TrumpDonald TrumpStowaway found in landing gear of plane after flight from Guatemala to Miami Kushner looking to Middle East for investors in new firm: report GOP eyes booting Democrats from seats if House flips MORE, as well as unfettered access to the West Wing.
“I literally kind of knocked on the door and said, ‘can I come in?’ and they said OK,” Wolff said Sunday on “Meet the Press.” “And I came in. I sat on the couch and that’s the point of view that I’ve written this book from.”
Trump has said he did not authorize anyone to interact with Wolff. The White House says the president and the author barely talked.
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!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 4, 2018
The White House has been in damage control mode over the claims in Wolff’s book, which paints a picture of chaos in the West Wing and questions Trump’s fitness for office.
The book has already destroyed the relationship between Trump and Bannon, who disparaged Trump’s son-in-law and son in the book
But many of the other aides and advisers quoted in the book have disputed Wolff’s account, claiming that he took them out of context or made up stories entirely.
“I can tell you unequivocally is that the allegations and insinuations in this book, which are a pure work of fiction, are nothing but a pile of trash through and through,” White House adviser Stephen Miller said on CNN on Sunday.
Trump’s lawyers sent a cease-and-desist letter to Wolff’s publisher last week, but the publisher ended up moving the release date up to Friday. The book is now a best seller.
Attorneys for Wolff’s publisher fired back at Trump’s attorneys on Monday, calling the legal threats against the author “a gross violation of the First Amendment” and saying that publication of the book would continue.
Wolff’s lawyer Elizabeth McNamara said Wolff had been permitted “extraordinary access” to the Trump campaign and White House between May of 2016 and October of 2017 and that the more than 200 interviews with Trump and members of his inner circle informed Wolff’s reporting.
“We have no reason to doubt — and your letter provides no reason to change this conclusion — that Mr. Wolff’s book is an accurate report on events of vital public importance,” McNamara wrote. “Mr. Trump is the president of the United States, with the 'bully pulpit' at his disposal. To the extent he disputes any statement in the book, he has the largest platform in the world to challenge it.”