An explosive new book claiming to have the inside scoop on Donald Trump’s White House is going on sale early due to “unprecedented demand,” the publisher has said.
Michael Wolff’s Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House sparked outcry and threats of legal action from the administration after scandalous, advance excerpts were published in several different outlets.
Attorneys for Mr Trump sent cease and desist letters to Mr Wolff and his publisher, demanding that the book’s release be halted. The letters also threatened possible libel charges.
The publisher, Henry Holt, appears not to have heeded the warnings.
“Due to unprecedented demand, we are moving the on-sale date for all formats of ‘Fire and Fury,’ by Michael Wolff, to Friday, January 5, at 9 am ET, from the current on-sale date of Tuesday, January 9,” a Henry Holt spokeswoman told CNN on Thursday.
Mr Wolff also confirmed the book’s early release, tweeting: “Here we go. You can buy it (and read it) tomorrow. Thank you, Mr. President.”
The White House has repeatedly derided the book, which claims – among other things – that Melania Trump was unhappy when her husband was elected, and that Mr Trump was seen as “no more than semi-literate”.
White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders slammed the book in a press conference, calling it “lies” from “some trash from an author no one has ever heard of before today.”
“This book is mistake after mistake after mistake,” she said.
An excerpt from Mr Wolff’s book claims the author conducted more than 200 interviews with the President, his senior staff, and others over an 18-month period.
Attorneys for Mr Trump have also sent a cease and desist letter to former presidential adviser Steve Bannon, who is quoted extensively in the book. Among other things, the former chief strategist is quoted as calling first daughter Ivanka Trump “dumb as a brick,” and claiming a Trump campaign meeting with a Russian lawyer was “treasonous”.
The letter accuses Mr Bannon of breaking his employment agreement with the Trump Organisational and defaming the President, according to the Washington Post. It also orders him to stop communicating confidential or disparaging information, and to preserve all records in preparation for “imminent” legal action.
Mr Trump also issued a personal statement in which he claimed Mr Bannon had “lost his mind”.
“Steve was rarely in a one-on-one meeting with me and only pretends to have had influence to fool a few people with no access…