WASHINGTON (AP) Developments on Friday, Jan. 5, about President Donald Trump, his former aide Steve Bannon, and the book that told of a chaotic White House (all times Eastern Standard Time).
- 2:25 p.m.
Author Michael Wolff’s sensational book on President Donald Trump’s administration was reported the top seller online according to a Amazon and Barnes & Noble spokesperson, which said hardcovers of Fire and Fury stood at No. 1 as of midday Friday.
But they were also out of stock, with Amazon advising that shipment might take two to four weeks. Demand for the book was insatiable since reports of its contents emerged Wednesday.
Publisher Henry & Holt Company had planned a Jan. 9 release. Trump threatened legal action, demanding that Holt withhold the book. Instead, the publisher moved up the release four days due to “overwhelming demand.”
The book extensively quoted former Trump adviser Steve Bannon. Trump said the book is full of lies.
- 10:55 a.m.
Trump praised a major Republican donor family for distancing themselves from Bannon.
“The Mercer Family recently dumped the leaker known as Sloppy Steve Bannon. Smart!” Trump tweeted.
Trump lashed out at Bannon over a new book that quoted his former aide questioning the president’s competence.
A day before, Rebekah Mercer issued a statement distancing her family from Bannon. She is a billionaire Republican donor and co-owner of Breitbart, the populist website that Bannon helps run.
- 8:30 a.m.
Presidential spokeswoman Sarah Sanders criticized Bannon, saying “we’ve seen a side that is frankly very, very disappointing.”
Sanders spoke on Fox and Friends amid the fallout from the explosive new book that extensively quoted Bannon making disparaging comments about Trump’s family. Earlier this week, the president said Bannon had “lost his mind.” The acrimony suggests a permanent split between Trump and his former strategist who helped him win the presidential election.
Sanders said Bannon met on “multiple occasions” with the author.
She said Bannon “spent a lot more time with reporters than he ever did with the president.”
- 8:10 a.m.
Spokeswoman Sanders continued slamming the new book.
Sanders spoke on Fox and Friends Friday about Wolff’s book saying he never interviewed the president. She said he only “repeatedly begged to see the president.”
Sanders also called Wolf “a guy who made up a lot of stories to try and sell books.”
Wolff said on the Today Show he “absolutely” spoke to the president. He said whether he “realized it was an interview or not, I don’t know, but it was certainly not off the record.” He also said he had spoken to Trump since the inauguration.
- 7:50 a.m.
Wolff said the president’s calls to halt publication were helping him sell more copies.
“Where do I send a box of chocolates?” Wolff said on NBC’s Today Show.
Trump tweeted the book was full of “lies, misrepresentations and sources that don’t exist.”
Wolff said Friday he had spoken to Trump since the inauguration. He said he was “comfortable” with all the reporting in the book.
Trump’s attorney demanded a halt to publication of the book or excerpts.