Unlike White House staff, I don’t comment on a book unless I read it. That goes for Michael Wolff’s book, “Fire and Fury,” Bob Woodward’s book “Fear” which I am currently in the middle of reading, and Omarosa Manigault Newman’s ”Unhinged,” which I recently completed reading.
Although I certainly did not need Omarosa or any of the other authors to convince me that Donald J. Trump is an extreme narcissist who is completely devoid of empathy for anyone other than himself and is a chronic liar subject to uncontrollable fits of rage, or, as Omarosa calls it, “Donald going nuclear,” I did very much enjoy reading her book as I did reading “Fire and Fury” and the innumerable other books I read over the last several months on this White House and this president.
“Unhinged” effectively captured each of the incidents with which we have become all too familiar from the beginning of Omarosa’s time with Trump starting with “the Apprentice” through the 2016 presidential campaign, election, transition and administration leaving no incident out. Clearly she kept a diary in addition to her recordings. Her motives for the book may be primarily financial as well as, quite obviously, vindictive, but since, in Trumpworld, loyalty is a one-way street, I found it rather comforting to see so many individuals closest to him finally making a U-turn on him.
If anything, Trump should be proud of Omarosa. As Trump’s apprentice, protege, underling, Omarosa, in “Unhinged,” has demonstrated how successfully she learned her self-promotion lessons from her mentor, the king of self-promotion. Out-self-promoting the master is no small feat, yet Omarosa has pulled that off and quite effectively.
The book referred to much of what Michael Wolff exposed in “Fire and Fury” and Bob Woodward captures in “Fear” such as factions in the Trump White House. Ivanka and Jared against Bannon or Priebus or Spicer, etc. is surely nothing new or surprising. Nor is it new or surprising that Trump prefers attractive female staffers to qualified experienced staffers. Anyone who frequents the White House as often as I do could easily figure that one out. This observation, arrived at by both Wolff and Omarosa, explains the rise of Hope Hicks.
Likewise, the quick rise and fall of Anthony Scaramucci is discussed in the book. What makes the book more interesting than just a compilation of events are the personal observations provided by Omarosa such as that poor Anthony “cried like a baby” when he was dismissed. Maybe too much information but the personal observations did make the book more enticing.
As is the case with “Fire and Fury” and “Fear,” whether everything in “Unhinged” is exactly true may be subject to debate, but whether everything in it is totally believable, well, that is UN-debatable…clearly it is highly believable based on one’s own simple observations over the last year or two or forty.
A perfect example of this is the most controversial item in the book which is whether Donald Trump uttered the so-called “N-word.” You can debate Omarosa’s credibility all you want, but, really, is there any doubt, based on all of his racist actions on full display for all to see such as his reaction to the non-violent silent protest of the NFL players or his condemnation of the Central Park Five after their DNA exoneration that he at some time used that racist term?
As I said, you can debate all you want on whether the behind-the-scenes observations made by Omarosa of events that are common knowledge are technically true, but whether those observations, such as her belief that Trump has a diminishing mental capacity, is highly believable and beyond debate.
As for the detractors of the book, specifically White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders, similar to the across-the-board dismissal of “Fire and Fury” and later “Fear,” Ms. Huckabee Sanders claimed “Unhinged” was full of lies and errors and was the work of a disgruntled employee. No doubt Omarosa is disgruntled and her book is motivated by both financial gain and vindictiveness. What was missing from Ms. Huckabee Sanders’ trashing of “Unhinged,” as it was with her trashing of “Fire and Fury” before it and now “Fear,” was identifying specific lies and errors. She identified none.
If there is one truth of which you can be assured after reading Omarosa’s “Unhinged,” it is the same truth that can be derived from reading “Fire and Fury” by Michael Wolff, “Everything Trump Touches Dies” by Republican strategist Rick Wilson which I just completed reading, “It’s Even Worse than You Think” by David Cay Johnston which I read a while ago, “Fear” by Bob Woodward which I am currently reading, or the anonymous New York Times op-ed from a senior member of the Trump administration. That truth is, quite simply, just about everything written in each of the aforementioned books, if not absolutely and technically exactly true, is, without any doubt, absolutely believable. After covering this White House from day one I can absolutely attest to that as should anyone else who has paid the slightest bit of attention over the last year-and-a-half.
Moreover, since the observations captured in each of the books mentioned are consistent with each other, is there anyone who can realistically believe that these authors “colluded”/conspired with each other when writing their books? Besides, I’ll take Bob Woodward’s credibility or even the credibility of any of the other authors over the credibility of Donald Trump and his White House staff any day of the week.
I can’t wait for the movie to come out. That will really set off this White House if Trump hasn’t already gone off the deep end by then.