President Trump’s legal team isn’t amused by a new “bombshell” book on the Trump White House that contains what they describe as “numerous false and/or baseless statements” defaming the president. On Thursday, one of Trump’s lawyers sent the book’s author and publisher a cease and desist letter threatening legal action.
The new book by Michael Wolff, “Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House,” set to be released next week, contains various disparaging claims about the White House that have already received strong pushback from sources cited in the book. On Thursday, Trump’s lawyer Charles Harder took the complaints to the next level in a letter sent to Wolff and the publisher, Henry Holt and Co. Inc.
“We are investigating numerous false and/or baseless statements that you have made about Mr. Trump,” wrote Harder in the letter, a copy of which was published by ABC News.
“Your publication of the false/baseless statements about Mr. Trump gives rise to, among other claims, defamation by libel, defamation by libel per se, false light invasion of privacy, tortious interference with contractual relations, and inducement of breach of contract,” Harder alleges.
The lawyer accuses Wolff and the publisher of “actual malice (reckless disregard for the truth).” Citing the introduction of the book admitting “it contains untrue statements,” Harder slams Wolff for failing to cite sources at times and on other occasions citing sources who now deny having made the statements contained in the book.
Wolff claims to have hours of recordings proving that the assertions and quotes in his book are grounded in fact.
Harder’s reference to “breach of contract” appears to be in part a reference to former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon’s talks with Wolff, quotes from which prompted a scathing rebuke of Bannon by Trump on Wednesday.
Harder also sent a cease and desist letter to Bannon Wednesday night stating that his “actions of communicating with author Michael Wolff regarding an upcoming book give rise to numerous legal claims including defamation by libel and slander, and breach of his written confidentiality and non-disparagement agreement with our clients. Legal action is imminent.”
“You have breached the Agreement by, among other things, communicating with author Michael Wolff about Mr. Trump, his family members, and the Company, disclosing Confidential Information to Mr. Wolff, and making disparaging statements and in some cases outright defamatory statements to Mr. Wolff about Mr. Trump, his family members, and the Company, knowing that they would be included in Mr. Wolff’s book and publicity surrounding the marketing and sale of his book,” wrote Harder.