The White House on Thursday offered a powerful challenge to the gossip-like sequel of author Michael Wolff of & # 39; Fire & Fury & # 39 ;. A statement he attributes to Trump's assistant, Jared Kushner, is a work of fiction.
In & # 39; Siege & # 39 ;, in stores next week, Wolff denies what he describes as an off-the-record interview with a reporter in which Kushner, the son-in-law of the president, claimed that the Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi a jihadi was in wolf clothing.
& # 39; This man was the link between certain factions in the royal family and Osama. We know that, & Kushner said, referring to the Saudi government and the 9/11 terror brain behind Osama bin Laden. & # 39; A journalist? Come on. This was a terrorist posing as a journalist. & # 39;
Kushner assistant Avi Berkowitz tweeted a comment on tidbit on Thursday Vanity Fair reported a day earlier.
& # 39; Michael Wolff never contacted me (or the White House) for comment. The passages from the book I attributed to Jared in the media are completely inaccurate, & Berkowitz wrote on his personal Twitter account.
An assistant from Jared Kushner (photo) challenges a claim in a new book that the president's senior advisor, who is also Donald Trump's son-in-law, once said the killed columnist Jamal Khashoggi & # 39; disguised as a journalist & # 39;
Khashoggi was murdered last year and dismembered in a Saudi consulate in Turkey, thought to have been ordered in one fell swoop by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman
Kushner assistant Avi Berkowitz defended his boss in a tweeted statement that he later moved to his official Twitter account for the White House, because author Michael Wolff had never asked the White House if any of the stories from his sources were true
He later removed the tweet and placed it again in his official White House account, the contents of which the US government keeps in a permanent archive.
Thursday was reached by phone in Israel, but Berkowitz refused to go any further – or to explain what Kushner does believe about Khashoggi.
Khashoggi's murder and dissolution in October 2018 at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, Turkey, upset the relationship between the US and Saudi when Riyadh officials attempted to distance Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman from the horrific murder.
Even when President Donald Trump refused to renounce his close relationship with Riyadh, his State Department last month accused 16 Saudi citizens with ties to the prince for the murder and forbade them from entering the US.
Khashoggi knew Bin Laden and interviewed him several times as a columnist. He was also a member of the Muslim Brotherhood hardline in his youth.
After the attack on the Obama era in Pakistan that resulted in Bin Laden's death, Khashoggi posted a lamentable reminder on Twitter.
& # 39; I collapsed a while ago, saddened for you … You were beautiful and brave in those beautiful days in Afghanistan, before surrendering to hatred and passion, & # 39; he then wrote.
Michael Wolff, whose gossip-heavy, thinly sold out book & # 39; Fire & Fury & # 39; nearly 5 million copies sold, killer is welcomed while his second anti-Trump page turner approaches the release date and journalists figure out his methods
Berkowitz is Jared Kushner's top communications and personal assistant and has worked for him in the West Wing since the start of the Trump administration
Khashoggi, 59 when he died, became an astute critic of human rights and the military record of the Saudi family in his last years – despite being their official spokesperson decades earlier.
Kushner is in Jerusalem and navigates into suddenly unstable political waters after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's failure to form a new government coalition.
The list of unverified stories about the Trump administration in the new Wolff book is growing and journalists are starting to ask him difficult questions about how he checks facts and verifies what is true
The sudden ape-wrench in Netanyahu & # 39; s plans necessitated a new election, on September 17, and seems to have frozen Trump's plan to unveil a Middle East peace plan this year.
A West Wing assistant who asked for anonymity because he is not authorized to speak to the press said on Thursday that Wolff is a first-class bull artist, but I hesitate to say that because I am in Washington and I am not wants to give all bulls ** t a bad name. & # 39;
Separately, the White House press officer, Hogan Gidley, told Vanity Fair that Wolff's 2018 bestseller became a critical flop because he did not adhere to journalistic standards.
& # 39; The first book by Michael Wolff was destroyed because of the countless inaccuracies, invented stories and the use of shady sources with personal political agendas that even the author himself admitted & he said Wednesday.
Journalists preparing to cover the bomb attacks in the author's second anti-Trump book approach him more cautiously than with the first, as he becomes more transparent about his methods.
In a section of & # 39; Siege, & # 39; Wolff claims that the then supreme candidate of the Supreme Court, Brett Kavanaugh (left), asked the questions of Fox News interviewers early in 2018; the author never asked the network if that was true before he mentioned it as a fact in his book
For most journalists, placing a controversial quote in the mouth of a high presidential advisor without giving him a chance to explain or deny it would be considered an abuse.
Wolff told The New York Times on Wednesday that the normal rules do not apply to him.
& # 39; I actually don't believe that if you know the answer, it's necessary to go through the movements of getting an answer you're absolutely certain about, & # 39; he said.
Speaking of the fact-finding that most journalists consider part of their jobs, Wolff said: & You make pro-forma calls to protect yourself. & # 39;
But & # 39; I don't have to do that & # 39 ;, he insisted, in cases where he has already come to a conclusion about what is and isn't true.
In & # 39; Siege & # 39; Wolff claims that prior to an interview with Brett Kavanaugh last year, the Fox News Channel provided questions to the then supreme person of the Supreme Court in advance.
Kushner is working in Israel this week on the presidential Middle East peace proposal at a time when Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's attempt to hold his government together has failed and new elections are on the horizon
Wolff said he made no attempt to contact Donald Trump before submitting his trump manuscript this time, explaining that he would not be expected to follow the journalistic practices of a newspaper writer
When asked if he went to Fox to confirm that detail, he said: & # 39; I don't need to ask the soft questions … can you imagine a circumstance under the sun that Fox would figure out? 39;
The Times asked Fox News about Wolff's claim. the network called it & # 39; pure fiction & # 39 ;.
The White House did not comment on Wolff's decision to publish the memories of a former sound engineer from the TV series & # 39; Apprentice & # 39 ;, who told stories about the presumed sexual misconduct of the president.
Wolff acknowledges that he has never attempted to ask the spokespersons or lawyers of the president about this, or to contact the women described in those accusations.
& # 39; I have not contacted Donald Trump at all. But why would you do that? & # 39; Wolff asked.
Wolff maintains that & # 39; Siege & # 39; is a fact-controlled work of journalism.
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