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A week of Fire and Fury in the US

A week of Fire and Fury in the US

Gulf News

The early release of Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House by Michael Wolff, a book which details the behaviour of US President Donald Trump and workings of the White House since January 2017, remained the focus of media attention during this week.

In a sharp editorial The Guardian noted that despite the critism faced by Wolff’s book, it offers a worrying glimpse of Trump’s chaotic presidency. “Michael Wolff’s new book, Fire and Fury, is an unforgettable ringside view of the reckless and undignified spectacle of the Donald Trump presidency so far. Time will tell whether the details in Wolff’s book are completely true. Mr Trump lived up to his billing as a thin-skinned political neophyte by having his lawyer threaten the author with a lawsuit. If the government couldn’t stop publication of the classified Pentagon Papers, the US president certainly could not stop a book that offends no one but himself. Written without much hindsight and without access to official papers, Wolff’s tome is more than journalism, if less than history. He has collected raw gossip and spiky insights in the court of King Donald. Historians will make more authoritative assessments. Viewing events from a distance makes it easier to decide what is a chapter of history and what is a footnote. Fire and Fury is not the definitive book on the Trump presidency, offering instead a worrying glimpse of its chaotic early life.”

The Washington Post carried a comment piece that outlined the fallout of the Trump’s presidency in wake of the book scandal on America’s closest allies. “Some of the United States’ closest international allies, including Britain, Germany and France, are now openly debating whether the most powerful man in the world and de facto leader of Nato — an alliance on which their entire military strategies are based — can still be trusted ... Macron, who has established a more extensive working relationship with Trump than the Germans were able to, also voiced an unusually stern warning this week, arguing that Trump’s policies could result in a war. (The French President’s) remarks came before excerpts from “Fire and Fury” emerged.

The Australian dismissed the book as a product of ‘New York media-cocktail-circuit inbreeding’. “Mr Trump’s first year has been a paradox. He has accomplishments to boast of — the tax reform that defied his predecessors, a booming stock market, jobs growth and judicial appointments that are reshaping the US courts system — but they have often been overshadowed by the perceptions of chaos and even mental derangement contained in Wolff’s book. Mr Trump is playing into the hands of his adversaries by averring, as he has in his latest tweets, that he is a “genius”. His “two greatest assets”, he insists, have been mental stability “and being like really, really smart”. The President is showing himself far too thin-skinned and preoccupied with tittle-tattle in a book whose author is regarded by “the journalistic priesthood” as “someone whose credibility is often suspect.”

The BBC focused on the US President’s mental health. In a much debated piece, BBC postulated, “The book — the accuracy of which has been disputed by the White House and queried by others — paints the president as impatient and unable to focus, prone to rambling and repeating himself. Mr Trump has hit back against Mr Wolff’s account, claiming on Twitter to be a “very stable genius” whose “two greatest assets have been mental stability and being, like, really smart”. But the president’s manner and speaking style have led to armchair diagnoses of a host of ailments, from Alzheimer’s to narcissistic personality disorder — a controversial practice that has divided the medical profession ... This (may be) a neurological condition like Alzheimer’s, some experts said, or it could be a symptom of nothing more sinister than age. Those who say the president is concealing cognitive decline point to a few other incidences where he seemed not to have full control over his own movements.”