Mr. Wolff has a history of combining anecdotes that are true with sweeping assertions that include no substantiation and are often merely his personal conclusions. The media know this, but Mr. Wolff’s quotes and stories reinforce the contempt they have for Mr. Trump so the tales are too good to ignore or try to disprove.
.. Most striking, despite the juicy quotes, is how little new the book reveals. Everyone knew Mr. Trump was surprised to win the election, that he then tried to run the White House like he had his family business with rival factions and little discipline, and that the place was a chaotic mess until John Kelly arrived as chief of staff. We also knew that Mr. Trump knew almost nothing about government or policy, that he reads very little, and that he is a narcissist obsessed with his critics. Any sentient voter knew this on Election Day... Mr. Bannon fed Mr. Trump’s political paranoia and his worst policy instincts such as tearing up Nafta. Mr. Bannon resembles Pat Buchanan, a protectionist predecessor to Mr. Trump, in being at heart an American declinist. He rails against the present in favor of a more idyllic past. Recall the “American carnage” of the Trump inaugural... The President finally fired Mr. Bannon after Mr. Kelly came aboard and Mr. Bannon defied the new chief by attacking his colleagues in an unapproved interview. The White House has since become a saner place, notwithstanding Mr. Trump’s Twitter effusions... The President’s worst mistakes have come from heeding Mr. Bannon’s desire to blow up the status quo first and pick up the pieces later—think of the travel ban. The President’s successes have come when he has bursts of discipline while pursuing the more conventional conservative agenda on judges, tax reform, regulation and foreign policy