According to a report in The New York Times, John Bolton’s new book reveals that Trump told Bolton “that he wanted to continue freezing $391 million in security assistance to Ukraine until officials there helped with investigations into Democrats including the Bidens.”
At least that is what Bolton allegedly says. No excerpts have been published yet.
We’ve been through this before. Some Trump administration insider writes a book, and all the hype around it gets the left in a euphoric state, thinking that the book will be the straw that broke the camel’s back, exposing undeniably horrific details about Trump and his administration that would end his presidency… or something.
Except none of that happened. Each book came and went. The authors may have made some money and street cred with the Democratic Party, but Trump still stands, and public opinion has remained fairly consistent. Hardcore anti-Trump partisans may have thrown their money at these books just to read juicy gossip that reinforced what they wanted to believe, but the public at large wasn’t swayed. Many found themselves buying these books because they promised shocking new revelations, and wound up disappointed when they failed to deliver, only realizing after their purchase that they’d been had by self-serving opportunists.
I expect no less from John Bolton’s forthcoming book. I’m sure the same people who bought the five books below will find themselves similarly disappointed by Bolton’s tome, wondering how they got duped by the hype again.
5. Unhinged by Omarosa
Omarosa Manigault Newman’s tell-all about her time in the Trump White House was supposed to be so full of damaging information that it would be almost impossible for Republicans to support him anymore. Liberals salivated over the juicy details that it was supposed to contain and anxiously awaited the inevitable takedown of Trump.
But, it never happened. In fact, many of the most salacious details were quickly debunked and the book was shown to be as reliable as the Steele dossier. One of the most notable accusations within the book was that Omarosa had been told by someone else that pollster Frank Luntz heard Trump use the N-word—which was quickly debunked by Frank Luntz himself.
I’m in @Omarosa’s book on page 149. She claims to have heard from someone who heard from me that I heard Trump use the N-word.
Not only is this flat-out false (I’ve never heard such a thing), but Omarosa didn’t even make an effort to call or email me to verify. Very shoddy work.
— Frank Luntz (@FrankLuntz) August 10, 2018
Even the Trump-hating husband of Kellyanne Conway contradicted a claim that Trump had used a slur against him. Between that and other contradictions, Omarosa’s book ultimately tanked in its second week. Amazon reviewers were highly critical of the self-serving nature of the book. “Content was self-absorbed, self-congratulatory and provided very little new information. Don’t bother,” said one review.
4. Fear: Inside the Trump White House by Bob Woodward
Bob Woodward may have a reputation for being a solid journalist, but even some of the claims in his book were contradicted by those involved. One such allegation was that John Kelly had called the president an idiot.
“He’s an idiot. It’s pointless to try to convince him of anything. He’s gone off the rails,” Kelly is quoted as saying in the book. “We’re in Crazytown. I don’t even know why any of us are here. This is the worst job I’ve ever had.”
“The idea I ever called the president an idiot is not true. As I stated back in May and still firmly stand behind, I spend more time with the president than anyone else, and we have an incredibly candid and strong relationship. He always knows where I stand, and he and I both know this story is total B.S. I’m committed to the president, his agenda, and our country. This is another pathetic attempt to smear people close to President Trump and distract from the administration’s many successes,” Kelly said.
Woodward probably lost some favor with the anti-Trump crowd that was clearly the target audience of the book when he stated publicly that he saw no evidence of collusion between Trump and Russia despite looking “hard” for two years. The left was certainly counting on Woodward to get the goods on Trump before Mueller would; they ended up being disappointed… twice. Woodward’s conclusion about Russia clearly took some steam away from the impact his book was to have, and according to several reviews on Amazon, claimed there was “nothing new or surprising” in the book.
3. A Warning by Anonymous
There was a lot of excitement from the left about A Warning by Anonymous. The author was said to be the same senior administration official who wrote a 2018 New York Times op-ed revealing the existence of a secret resistance inside the Trump administration, so obviously this book was gonna deliver the goods, right?
Not really. The book was published in the middle of the Democrats’ impeachment inquiry and while it may have hit the New York Times bestsellers list, a common theme from disappointed book reviewers was that the book contained no new information or damning revelations. One reviewer even claimed, “I’m not a Trump fan whatsoever, but this book will not hurt Trump and might even help him.”
2. A Higher Loyalty by James Comey
Liberals blamed Comey for helping Trump win the 2016 election. Conservatives believe he was part of the anti-Trump resistance. After being fired by Trump, Comey clearly decided to pander to the former, and he wrote a book, A Higher Loyalty, which promised a lot of bite but was mostly bark and some whimpers. As PJM’s Stephen Kruiser noted, the juicy details of the book “promised either a bombshell of a memoir that will cripple this presidency […] or a pettiness-filled journal that seems as if it were written by an adolescent who had just been turned down for prom.” The latter turned out to be true. It didn’t help that Comey’s book tour was widely described as a disaster. Even the liberal media couldn’t deny it.
Critical readers saw the book as self-serving while lacking in hard-hitting revelations.
1. Fire and Fury by Michael Wolff
Michael Wolff’s book Fire and Fury was hyped up by the media so aggressively because of all the damaging allegations contained in its pages, such as the allegation that Trump likes to sleep with the wives of his friends and that he had an affair with Nikki Haley. Liberals went nuts and made the book a bestseller.
The only problem was that they basically bought a fiction book.
You can imagine how liberals banking on Wolff’s book to destroy Trump must have felt when Wolff was doing publicity for it and admitted that his job has “nothing to do with truth.”
“I am an observer: I investigate nothing. All I do is look and write what I see and what I hear, and my job – which has nothing to do with truth – is to take what I see and what I hear and write that in a way that readers can come as possible – as close as I came – to the experience of doing this,” Wolff said.
Plenty of readers weren’t convinced by the book either. “I am not a Trump fan but I still doubt the author’s credibility,” wrote one reviewer.
“Didn’t tell us anything we didn’t already know from CNN,” wrote another.
I’m sure of that.
Matt Margolis is the author of Trumping Obama: How President Trump Saved Us From Barack Obama’s Legacy and the bestselling book The Worst President in History: The Legacy of Barack Obama. You can follow Matt on Twitter @MattMargolis