Political Books

What Happens to Mark Halperin’s Reporting?

Jonathan Swan: “Early this year, President Trump invited Mark Halperin to dinner in the White House residence. Seated around the table were Trump’s inner circle, including Jared Kushner, Hope Hicks, Reince Priebus, Stephen Miller, Kellyanne Conway, Steve Bannon, and Sean Spicer. They spent a rollicking evening reminiscing about the campaign, according to two sources in the room.”

“Trump concluded the dinner by telling his team: ‘You guys all need to talk to him,’ for his campaign book — the third installment of Game Change, the most valuable franchise in political reporting. The team cooperated.”

“But Halperin has since been thrown off the book project — Penguin backed out and HBO cancelled the movie version — after a number of women went public with stories about him sexually harassing them in the workplace. That leaves the treasure trove in the hands of Heilemann, and creates a complicated situation. While Halperin and Heilemann co-conducted nearly all of the Clinton campaign interviews and some Trump campaign interviews, it was Halperin’s access that unlocked the highest level of Trumpworld.”

The President’s First Year

Coming soon: Crucible: The President’s First Year by Michael Nelson,‎ Jeffrey L. Chidester, and Stefanie Georgakis Abbott.

“Is the presidency a position one must learn on the job, or can one learn from others’ experience? No common thread runs through the list of forty-five presidents; no playbook provides the answers to all the challenges a president will face. Yet even in the most unprecedented situations, history can be instructive.”

Spicer Writing a Book

Former White House press secretary Sean Spicer is writing a book to “set the record straight” about what he says happened during the 2016 election, transition and his time serving in the administration, CNN reports.

Said Spicer: “I looked back at the coverage of the campaign, the transition in the first six, seven months of this White House, I realized the stories that are being told are not an accurate representation of what President Trump went through to get the nomination, to transition to the White House and then his first six months in office.”

Flashback Quote of the Day

“Let me say here and now that I regret very deeply the harm that I’ve done both to people I care about and people I don’t really care about all that much. I am sorry. I apologize. It was wrong. What I did was wrong. I’m sorry. I am so, so sorry. Boy, am I sorry.”

— Then-comedian Al Franken, in his 1999 book, Why Not Me?

Trump Is Using Putin’s Playbook

Bret Stephens: “If you want to understand the ways in which Donald Trump’s presidency is systematically corrupting the American mind, I have a book recommendation for you. It’s about Vladimir Putin’s Russia.”

“The book is Peter Pomerantsev’s Nothing Is True and Everything Is Possible. It was published in 2014, and it brilliantly tells the story of the (Soviet-born) British author’s sojourn as a producer for Russian TV. As the title suggests, at its heart it’s the tale of the substitution of reality with ‘reality,’ of factual truth with interpretive possibility.”

“That’s also the central task of Donald Trump’s presidency.”

Quote of the Day

“What’s the fucking point? Keep the fight up? History will judge that campaign, and it’s always a period of time before they do. You’ve got to move on. This is Hillary’s problem right now: She doesn’t have anything to do.”

— Sen. John McCain (R-AZ), quoted by Esquire, saying Hillary Clinton made a mistake writing her campaign memoir, What Happened, so soon after her defeat.

Spicer Was Looking for TV Jobs Before the Election

A new book out next month — Let Trump Be Trump by Corey Lewandowski and David Bossie — says that Sean Spicer was never a true Trump believer, revealing the now ex-White House press secretary was shopping for TV jobs even before the 2016 election, the Daily Mail reports.

“In the first chapter, they lay out who they consider Trump’s friends and foes, characterizing Spicer and other Trump team members who came from the Republican National Committee, including Reince Priebus and Katie Walsh, as the latter.”

The Book Scaramucci Wanted to Write

Business Insider: “In the months after getting ousted from the White House, Scaramucci sought a publisher to put out a book, which at one point was titled I Did It My Way, about his 10 days as Trump’s communications director. A proposal for the book that was circulated to several major publishers earlier this summer and shared with Business Insider promised a ‘tell-all’ to dish on his bizarre ouster from the White House as well as his ‘countless other interactions involving Sean Spicer, General McMaster, Sarah Huckabee and even the Vice President.’”

“But in a text message to Business Insider on Monday, Scaramucci … said he was no longer interested in publishing a book, saying he was not willing to write the kind of tell-all that would create buzz but damage his standing with the president and the White House.”