Michael Wolff’s tell-all tome “Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House,” which chronicles the first year of the Donald Trump presidency, portrays US Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley as an opportunistic political figure, who is positioning herself to succeed Trump as the President of the United States.
“Haley—‘as ambitious as Lucifer,’ in the characterization of one member of the senior staff—had concluded that Trump’s tenure would last, at best, a single term, and that she, with requisite submission, could be his heir apparent,” Wolff, a journalist and author, writes in the bestseller.
The bombshell book was released Friday ahead of schedule after Trump’s lawyers sent cease and desist letters to the author and publisher Henry Holt and Co.
Wolff writes that the Indian American “had courted and befriended” the president’s daughter Ivanka Trump, who “had brought her into the family circle, where she had become a particular focus of Trump’s attention, and he of hers.”
He writes that it “had become increasingly evident to the wider foreign policy and national security team” that the former South Carolina governor “was the family’s pick for secretary of state after Rex Tillerson’s inevitable resignation.”
Wolff reveals that Trump “had been spending a notable amount of private time with Haley on Air Force One and was seen to be grooming her for a national political future.”
Describing Haley as a “traditional Republican,” with a “moderate streak—a type increasingly known as a Jarvanka Republican” the author writes the US diploma is “being mentored in Trumpian ways.” Quoting a senior official, he writes: “The danger here… ‘is that she is so much smarter than him.”’
In the past year, Haley has been more hawkish than Tillerson on many foreign policy issues, including on North Korea and Iran. Last month, after the UN General Assembly strongly denounced Trump’s decision to move the US embassy to Jerusalem, the US envoy warned many countries that voted against the United States at the world body. The United States “will be taking names,” Haley warned those countries.
In fact, Haley’s hawkish positions on many global issues prompted Slate’s Joshua Keating to call her “Trump’s Mini-Me.”
Former White House Chief Strategist Steve Bannon fears Haley’s “hold on the president,” Wolff writes in the book. The flame-throwing Breitbart News chief is apprehensive that“Haley, quite an un-Trumpian figure, but by far the closest of any of his cabinet members to him, might, with clever political wiles, entice Trump to hand her the Trumpian revolution.”
According to Wolff, that was why, back in October, Bannon pushed CIA chief Mike Pompeo as the secretary of state after Tillerson’s rumored departure.
Nikki Haley praises Ivanka Trump for her GES speech (November 29, 2017)
Nikki Haley for President in 2020? Some Democrats think so. (August 22, 2017)
Trump praises Nikki Haley’s UN job performance (February 19, 2017)
Nikki Haley sworn in as US ambassador to the United Nations (January 26, 2017)