By Philip Rucker
November 24 at 7:00 PM The Washington Post
Two of the president’s longest-serving advisers allege in a new book that scores of officials inside the White House, Congress, the Justice Department and intelligence agencies are “embedded enemies of President Trump” working to stymie his agenda and delegitimize his presidency.
The authors, Corey R. Lewandowski and David N. Bossie, are both Republican operatives who do not work in the administration but are close to Trump and fashion themselves as his outside protectors. They portray the president as victim to disloyalty on his staff and “swamp creatures” intent on extinguishing his political movement.
Their book, “Trump’s Enemies: How the Deep State Is Undermining the Presidency,” which is being released Tuesday and was obtained in advance by The Washington Post, paints a dark and at times conspiratorial portrait of Trump’s Washington. The authors identify by name a number of Trump appointees who they claim have formed a “resistance” inside the government during the first two years of Trump’s presidency.
Lewandowski and Bossie write that these officials “attack the administration with a thousand cuts. They do this in complete disregard to the millions of Americans who voted for Donald Trump. They do it only for their own ends. There are far too many people in the deep reaches of the federal government who harbor as deep a hatred of Trump as does anyone from the Clinton/Obama cabal. The thing is, they get away with it when no one is looking.”
Anticipation of the book — the latest memoir by Trump aides or allies — has caused consternation inside the president’s orbit, in part because the authors are controversial figures. Its release comes at a moment of transition for Trump, who is weighing a number of changes to his Cabinet and senior staff and is preparing for a realignment of power in Washington in January, when Democrats take control of the House.
Lewandowski, the president’s former campaign manager, and Bossie, his former deputy campaign manager, enjoy personal relationships with Trump and traveled with him on campaign trips this year. But some White House aides are said to be suspicious of their motives and worry about them influencing the president — including Chief of Staff John F. Kelly, who routinely restricted their access to the West Wing, the authors write.
“Trump’s Enemies,” which is 288 pages and published by Center Street, is a sequel to the first book Lewandowski and Bossie wrote together, the campaign memoir “Let Trump Be Trump,” which was released last year.
Lewandowski and Bossie met with Trump in the Oval Office on Sept. 20 for a friendly interview, an edited transcript of which appears in the new book. Trump told the authors that he considers the investigation by special counsel Robert S. Mueller III of Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election to have helped him politically.
“I think it makes my base stronger,” Trump said in the interview. “I would have never said this to you. But I think the level of love now is far greater than when we won. I don’t know, what do you think, Mike?”
Vice President Pence, who sat in for a portion of the interview, replied, “As strong or stronger.”
Trump spent much of the interview complaining about the news media. When Bossie asked him who or what is his biggest enemy, Trump replied: “The greatest enemy of this country is Fake News. I really mean it.” He went on to say, “I think that one of the most important things that I’ve done, especially for the public, is explain that a lot of the news is indeed fake.”
Trump told Lewandowski and Bossie that he regrets not immediately dismissing James B. Comey as FBI director. “I should have fired him the day after I won and announced please get the hell out,” Trump said. The president also said congressional Republicans “let me down” by not fighting harder to secure funding to construct a wall at the U.S.-Mexico border.
Lewandowski and Bossie use their book to settle scores with a number of fellow Trump advisers. They refer to Trump’s former personal attorney Michael Cohen and former campaign chairman Paul Manafort, who are cooperating with Mueller’s investigation, each as a “rat.”
The authors describe a cohort of White House aides — including former press secretary Sean Spicer and former deputy chief of staff Joe Hagin — as “the November Ninth Club,” arguing that they are establishment Republicans who did not fully support Trump until the day after he was elected, when they began angling for powerful government jobs.
Lewandowski and Bossie also savage former National Economic Council director Gary Cohn as a “limousine liberal” and “the poster boy for the disloyal staff conspiring against President Trump.” And they accuse former staff secretary Rob Porter of working to thwart Trump’s agenda and style to make him more traditionally “presidential.”
The narrative reads in part like Trump’s Twitter grievances in book form. Lewandowski and Bossie write at length about the same FBI and Justice Department officials whose names pepper so many presidential tweets — Comey, Andrew McCabe, Lisa Page, Peter Strzok and Sally Yates. And they go after the same intelligence officials that Trump often targets — James R. Clapper Jr. and John Brennan — and accuse them of wanting to “nullify the election and bring down the president” by detailing Russia’s interference.
The authors also go after many of Trump’s Democratic foes. They refer to Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.) as “crazy”; call Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) “many people’s favorite liberal wacko”; and label Sen. Kamala D. Harris (D-Calif.) an “enemy of President Trump.” They also spell out former president Barack Obama’s middle name, Hussein, echoing a common Republican tactic meant to falsely suggest that the 44th president is a Muslim.
Like Trump, the authors use colorful language to dismiss the Russia investigation, specifically the notion that the Trump campaign conspired with Russians, as a made-up excuse for Democrats losing the 2016 election. They call it “a sweeping work of fiction so complex, so audacious, so unbelievable that if they gave out awards for bad excuses, the Democrats would win an Oscar, an Emmy, and maybe even the Heisman Trophy.”