I just finished reading the book Fire and Fury, about the dysfunction, internal squabbles, and mutual backstabbings of the first year of the Trump White House. The author is not exactly a Theodore White, but then these are not Teddy White days, and the book’s focus was on the post-election rather than the campaign.
It took me a few days because I usually read several books at the same time, a habit from undergraduate university days. Here is my brief take, succinctly put:
Beyond all the headlines and the cacophony which focused on Donald Trump and his inadequacies and consequent insecurities. The picture drawn in the book, at least the picture I saw, was one of a bunch of self-serving extremely disloyal players. Everyone of the White House staff seems to be in the game for themselves, everyone focuses on their own role and its continuation.
Nobody gave priority to “serving” Trump and what is good for his tenure. That includes his own immediate family who took offices in the West Wing. That includes his New York in-laws. Everyone seems to have forgotten political convictions and principles and what Trump promised the voters. One young lady who apparently had some ‘boy trouble’, Hope Hicks, was/is probably loyal to the Trumps.
But there was one more other significant exception: one person who did not seem, from the author’s depiction, to be looking after personal gain and the one who did not play the sycophant. Perhaps the most ideological, most zealous person among them all.
Oddly that is the one person whom much of the media focused on and incessantly reviled during his brief tenure in the West Wing: Steve Bannon.
(P.S.: funniest thing in the book? Was the part about NSC candidate General H R McMaster showing up in a large suit and Trump thinking he looked like a ‘beer salesman‘)
M H Ghuloum