As questions continue to fly about factual errors in Michael Wolff’s “Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House,” the set of “Morning Joe” stepped up to run interference for the author.
On Monday, co-hosts Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski said it didn’t really matter whether any individual claims were true because the “spirit” of the book was true.
“We were talking before the break about some inaccuracies in the book,” said Brzezinski through laughter, but “the spirit of it is completely true.”
“Your critics here will have some material to work with here, there are misspellings,” she added.
Scarborough added, “The bigger point is, they run with these little specific things, but getting a part of a story wrong here or getting something else … Sometimes the sources get it a little off.”
For his part, Wolff was all too happy to run with that line, attributing any errors to problems with his “sources.”
“Sometimes you’re dependent on your sources,” he said. “You’re dependent on the people who were there, their memories, you have to sort their agenda. It’s a fairly complicated undertaking.”
Of course, since its release on Friday the book has been plagued by allegations of factual errors that run considerably deeper than “misspellings.”
Immediately after the segment, the show welcomed Axios political reporter Jonathan Swan, who was less charitable.
“There are whole scenes that never happened,” he said of the book’s content. On Twitter Swan also accused Wolff of relying on unreliable sources which he had passed on.
I was told this exact story by — I suspect — the same source as Wolff used. I ran it out down with other sources and couldn’t confirm it. So I never published it. https://t.co/RfLakGDf5R
— Jonathan Swan (@jonathanvswan) January 6, 2018
Other errors have surfaced too. Trump ally Tom Barrack said a nasty quote attributed to him in the book was not true and that Wolff never called him to confirm.
CNN media guru Brian Stelter also posted an example which showed no less than three errors on a single page.
Via WashPost's @MarkBerman: This page in Wolff's book has 3 errors. @HilaryRosen's name is misspelled. Wilbur Ross was the commerce nominee, not labor. And Berman says he's never been to this restaurant. pic.twitter.com/tRqxmU3Sct
— Brian Stelter (@brianstelter) January 5, 2018