5 surprising allegations from the new book about Trump's presidency

Washington, D.C., on Wednesday was dominated by a series of explosive excerpts from a forthcoming book focused on the early days inside the Trump administration.

Michael Wolff’s upcoming book, “Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House,” depicts a president who did not expect to defeat Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonA path to climate, economic and environmental justice is finally on the horizon Polling misfired in 2020 — and that's a lesson for journalists and pundits Biden flexes presidential muscle on campaign trail with Virginia's McAuliffe MORE in November 2016 and who clashed with White House staff. Excerpts of the book were published Wednesday. 

Wolff acknowledges in the book’s introduction that it contains conflicting and untrue statements. He writes that certain accounts reflect “a version of events I believe to be true." 

A few figures quoted in the book, including Donald Trump Jr.Don TrumpDonald Trump Jr. joins Cameo Book claims Trump family members were 'inappropriately' close with Secret Service agents Trump Jr. shares edited video showing father knocking Biden down with golf ball MORE and first lady Melania TrumpMelania TrumpOnly Trump can fix vaccine hesitancy among his supporters Trump discussed pardoning Ghislaine Maxwell: book Jill Biden appears on Vogue cover MORE, pushed back against certain claims on Wednesday. The White House slammed the book as filled with “false and misleading” information, adding that the author did not sit down with Trump himself for the project.

Here are some of the more explosive allegations from Wolff’s book excerpts:


Trump may have met with Russians after a June 2016 meeting in Trump Tower


Former White House chief strategist Stephen Bannon said there was “zero” chance President TrumpDonald TrumpCuban embassy in Paris attacked by gasoline bombs Trump Jr. inches past DeSantis as most popular GOP figure in new poll: Axios Trump endorses Ken Paxton over George P. Bush in Texas attorney general race MORE was unaware of the now-infamous meeting in Trump Tower involving his eldest son and a Russian lawyer.

Bannon, who is said to be one of the primary sources for Wolff’s book, called the meeting between Donald Trump Jr. and a Russian lawyer in July 2016 “treasonous” and “unpatriotic.”

“The chance that Don Jr. did not walk these Jumos up to his father’s office on the 26th floor is zero,” Bannon said, according to an excerpt obtained by MSNBC.

Trump Jr. agreed to attend the meeting after an intermediary told him that the lawyer had damaging information on Clinton. Trump Jr. has called the meeting a waste of time, saying the lawyer instead wanted to discuss American adoptions of Russian children. 

The meeting has come under intense scrutiny as special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) MuellerSenate Democrats urge Garland not to fight court order to release Trump obstruction memo Why a special counsel is guaranteed if Biden chooses Yates, Cuomo or Jones as AG Barr taps attorney investigating Russia probe origins as special counsel MORE and multiple congressional committees look into Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election.

Bannon was fired from the White House in August 2017 and has since returned to his role as head of Breitbart News. His comments released Wednesday contradicted past statements from the White House that Trump did not know of the meeting.

The White House tore into Bannon on Wednesday, and Trump said in a statement that his former chief strategist “has nothing to do with me or my presidency,” adding that he “lost his mind” when he lost his job. 

Trump Jr. also pushed back against Bannon’s comments, saying, “Steve is not a strategist, he is an opportunist.”


Trump was surprised by his victory in 2016

Leading up to Election Day in 2016, Trump and several aides reportedly believed he would not be president.

Instead, he told one staffer, he would lose and still be “the most famous man in the world” and would exit the campaign with a strong business brand, Wolff wrote.

But as the results came in and indicated Trump may actually win the election, Trump Jr. is said to have told a friend that his father looked as if he had seen a ghost.

First lady Melania Trump was in tears, Wolff wrote.

Bannon watched Donald Trump shift from befuddled to disbelieving to horrified, Wolff wrote.

Both Trump Jr. and Melania Trump have since pushed back on Wolff’s description of events. A spokeswoman for the first lady said she was "confident" her husband would win the election and "was very happy when he did."


Rupert Murdoch called Trump a “f---ing idiot”

Rupert Murdoch, co-chairman of 21st Century Fox and a longtime ally of President Trump, is said to have called the president a “f---ing idiot” after Trump didn’t seem to grasp the politics of Silicon Valley, according to the book.

In December 2016, Trump met with a delegation of Silicon Valley officials. After the meeting, Trump phoned Murdoch, and the two spoke about the meeting.

Trump indicated that the meeting had gone well, and that Silicon Valley executives needed his help to recover from Obama-era policies. Murdoch pushed back, telling Trump that Silicon Valley officials “practically ran” the Obama administration.

Trump then reportedly didn’t seem to understand that taking a liberal stance on the H-1B visa program would conflict with his border security rhetoric of the campaign.

“We’ll figure it out,” Trump reportedly told Murdoch. 

When he got off the phone, Murdoch reportedly shrugged and said “What a f---ing idiot.”


Trump clashed with White House housekeeping

Shortly after arriving at the White House, Trump reportedly established ground rules about his room and possessions. 

Staff members were not to touch his belongings, especially his toothbrush. The book claims when housekeepers picked his shirts up off the floor, Trump lashed out. 

“If my shirt is on the floor, it’s because I want it on the floor,” Trump reportedly said.

The book also states that Trump has his own bedroom, making it the first time in several decades a presidential couple has not shared a room.

The president requested a lock on his door, but Secret Service pushed back. He also reportedly asked for two additional televisions to be installed in his bedroom, giving him three total.

Trump has frequently clashed with the media over claims he has a habit of watching a lot of television, saying he has no time to watch TV. 


Trump’s staff believe him to be semi-literate

Pitching policy ideas to Trump was “deeply complicated,” Wolff writes in his book, citing the belief among some close to the president that he “was no more than semi-literate.”

Trump “didn’t read” or “didn’t really even skim,” Wolff writes, creating issues when aides attempted to pitch policy to him.

Former deputy chief of staff Katie WalshKatie E. WalshCNN's Camerota cautions viewers that explosive Wolff book 'isn't really journalism' Author has tapes of interviews with Bannon, officials: report White House barring employees from using personal cellphones at work MORE reportedly said working with Trump in those instances was “like trying to figure out what a child wants.”

Trump said on the campaign trail he hadn’t read biographies of previous presidents because he is "always busy doing a lot.” 

Trump told The Washington Post in July 2016 that he doesn’t read much, but instead comes to the right decisions “with very little knowledge other than the knowledge I had.” 

More recently, a White House official spokesman told CNN he couldn’t say whether Trump had read all of a 55-page national security document.