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Michael Wolff

The 'Fire and Fury' author said '100 percent' of those around Trump question his intelligence

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Updated January 05, 2018 10:00 AM EST


The author of an explosive new book about President Trump disputes his claim that "zero access" to the White House was given during information gathering for the work.

Michael Wolff's "Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House" has gripped the national consciousness this week with its claims that the president's administration is fractured and incoherent.

"My credibility is being questioned by a man who has less credibility than, perhaps, anyone who has ever walked on Earth at this point," Wolff said Friday on NBC News's "Today."

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"Whether he realized it was an interview or not, I don't know, but it certainly was not off the record," he added, noting he had "absolutely" spoken with Trump while working on his book.

"100 percent of the people around [Trump] - senior advisers, family members, every single one of them, questions his intelligence and fitness for office."

Trump on Thursday tweeted that he "authorized Zero access" to the White House for Wolff while the author was researching his "phony book."

"Fire and Fury" went on sale Friday, and the book paints an unflattering picture of Trump, his administration and his relationship with many key allies.

President Trump on Thursday lashed out at Steve Bannon, labeling his former White House chief strategist “Sloppy Steve” and denouncing the “phony book” quoting him.

Author Michael Wolff’s “Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House,” goes on sale Friday, and it extensively quotes Bannon deriding Trump and his administration.

“I authorized Zero access to White House (actually turned him down many times) for author of phony book!” Trump tweeted of Wolff. “I never spoke to him for book.”

“Full of lies, misrepresentations and sources that don’t exist. Look at this guy’s past and watch what happens to him and Sloppy Steve!”

Wolff has said he conducted more than 200 interviews for his book, including many source with close access to Trump.

Excerpts from the book have dominated news headlines this week, with sections painting Trump’s administration as divided and dysfunctional.

The resulting media circus prompted Wolff’s publisher to release his book Friday, four days earlier than initially scheduled.

Trump on Wednesday hammered Bannon on publicly available portions of the book which showed him criticizing the president’s eldest son.

“Steve Bannon has nothing to do with me or my presidency,” he said in a statement issued by the White House.

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“When he was fired, he not only lost his job, he lost his mind,” Trump continued, referencing Bannon’s departure from his administration last August.

Sections of Wolff’s book that emerged Wednesday quoted Bannon as calling Donald Trump Jr.’s 2016 meeting with a group of Russians “treasonous” and “unpatriotic.”

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Donald Trump Jr. met with Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya at Trump Tower in New York City during the height of the 2016 presidential election.

The huddle has since attracted controversy as an intermediary promised Donald Trump Jr. damaging information about 2016 Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton.

Donald Trump Jr. has since denied the encounter produced any meaningful outcome, but it has gained fresh scrutiny amid Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation.

Mueller is investigating Russia’s interference in the 2016 race, including potential collusion between Russia and President Trump’s election campaign.

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