WASHINGTON: An attorney for President Donald Trump sought Thursday to halt publication of an upcoming bombshell-filled book about his White House, claiming it was “libelous.”
The cease and desist letter sent to author Michael Wolff and publisher Henry Holt and Co. claims the book contained “numerous false and/or baseless statements” about Trump.
The book, “Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House,” is scheduled to be published on January 9, but several media outlets released excerpts on Wednesday, prompting an angry reaction from the White House.
In the letter, a copy of which was obtained by AFP, Trump’s attorney Charles Harder said statements made in the book “give rise to claims for libel” that could result in “substantial monetary damages and punitive damages.”
“The book appears to cite no sources for many of its most damaging statements about Mr. Trump,” the letter said.
“Also, many of your so-called ‘sources’ have stated publicly that they never spoke to Mr. Wolff and/or never made the statements that are being attributed to them,” it added.
Trump’s attorney demanded the publisher “immediately cease and desist from any further publication, release or dissemination of the Book” and provide a “full and complete retraction and apology to my client.”
The letter also alleged that former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon had breached a confidentiality agreement with Trump by speaking to Wolff and making “disparaging” remarks about the president and members of his family.
Trump rounded on Bannon on Wednesday after one excerpt in which the former aide described Trump’s eldest son’s meeting with a Kremlin-connected lawyer as “treasonous” and “unpatriotic.”
“Steve Bannon has nothing to do with me or my presidency. When he was fired, he not only lost his job, he lost his mind,” the Republican president said in a statement.
Bannon was one of the main architect of Trump’s upset victory in 2016 presidential elections, and the president’s chief White House strategist for six months.
On Thursday, Bannon nevertheless heaped praise on Trump, saying he was a “great man” that he continued to support “day in and day out.”