The Washington Post has revealed the anonymous author behind forthcoming tell-all A Warning has claimed the US president is so unfit for office that a number of fellow administration officials contemplated resigning together in “a midnight self-massacre” but ultimately decided against it.
Following the Department of Justice’s attempts to stymie the author and their Hachette publishers on Monday (4th November), the Post broke the embargo on Thursday (7th November) to publish excerpts from the book ahead of publication.
In the extracts published by the Post, the author – an unnamed senior official in the White House – is reported saying of Trump that he "stumbles, slurs, gets confused, is easily irritated, and has trouble synthesizing information” and navigates crises “like a 12-year-old in an air traffic control tower”.
It is claimed by the author, according to the Post, that senior administration officials, who are part of a "resistance" working to thwart Trump's worst impulses, had considered resigning together in "a midnight self-massacre".
Alluding to his penchant for Twitter meanwhile – which apparently often left senior officials waking up in the morning “in a full-blown panic” – the author is reported writing: “It’s like showing up at the nursing home at daybreak to find your elderly uncle running pantsless across the courtyard and cursing loudly about the cafeteria food, as worried attendants tried to catch him. You’re stunned, amused, and embarrassed all at the same time. Only your uncle probably wouldn’t do it every single day, his words aren’t broadcast to the public, and he doesn’t have to lead the US government once he puts his pants on.”
And concludes: "I was wrong about the 'quiet resistance' inside the Trump administration. Unelected bureaucrats and cabinet appointees were never going to steer Donald Trump the right direction in the long run, or refine his malignant management style. He is who he is."
A book review has subsequently been published by the New York Times, branding A Warning "just that: a warning, for those who need it, that electing Mr Trump to a second term would be courting disaster".
The book should be covered by journalists as "a work of fiction" according to White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham, calling the author "a coward" in a statement on Friday.
"The coward who wrote this book didn't put their name on it because it is nothing but lies," she said. "Real authors reach out to their subjects to get things fact checked — but this person is in hiding, making that very basic part of being a real writer impossible. Reporters who choose to write about this farce should have the journalistic integrity to cover the book as what it is — a work of fiction."
Earlier this week the DoJ sent a letter to Hachette's legal counsel and the anonymous author's agents warning that the author could be violating "one or more" NDAs.
Both the book's US and UK publishers have confirmed publication will go ahead as planned on 19th November.