Trump's lawyer sends cease and desist letter to Michael Wolff's publisher

President Trump's personal lawyer has issued a cease and desist letter to author Michael Wolff and Wolff's publisher over the release of explosive excerpts of "Fire and Fury: Inside Trump's White House." The letter demands that Wolff and the publisher halt all publication and apologize to the president for "defaming" him.

The letter from lawyer Charles Harder, dated Thursday, comes after excerpts of Wolff's book have cast the president and much of his White House in an unflattering light, portraying the commander-in-chief as someone who does not understand constitutional amendments, and is sometimes not taken seriously by key advisers. The letter accuses Wolff and Henry Holt and Company of publishing false statements about the president. 

"Your publication of the false/baseless statements about Mr. Trump gives rise to, among other claims, defamation by libel, defamation by libel, defamation by libel per se, false light invasion of privacy, tortious interference with contractural relations, and inducement of breach contract," the letter says. 

Mr. Trump, according to the letter, demands that publication of the book immediately cease, along with the publication of any excerpts or summaries. The letter also insists that a "full and complete retraction" be issued, along with an apology to Mr. Trump. 

The letter also demands a full electronic copy of the book "in searchable form" be given to Mr. Trump's lawyers. It is due to be published next week. 

The letter also claims former chief Trump strategist Steve Bannon's communications with Wolff for the book violate provisions of Bannon's nondisclosure agreement with Mr. Trump. Bannon, according to an excerpt in the book, called the June 2016 meeting with Donald Trump Jr., Jared Kushner, a Russian lawyer and others "treasonous." Mr. Trump disavowed Bannon on Wednesday, saying his former chief strategist has "lost his mind."

Bannon's agreement, according to the letter, prevents him from disclosing any confidential information to anyone about the president, his family members, their businesses or the campaign, and communicating with any member of the media about the president or his family. The agreement also prevents Bannon from "disparaging" the president, according to the letter. 

"As reflected in the article and excerpts from the book, Mr. Bannon has breached each of these provisions by his communications with Mr. Wolff," the letter says. 

CBS News' Jacqueline Alemany contributed to this report

  • Kathryn Watson

    Kathryn Watson is a politics reporter for CBS News Digital.