Wolff says understanding the "emperor has no clothes" will end Trump's presidency

Last Updated Jan 6, 2018 12:52 PM EST

Michael Wolff, author of the new bombshell book "Fire and Fury: Inside Trump's White House," told the BBC in an interview broadcast Saturday that he believes understanding revelations resulting from his book about President Trump will "finally end this presidency."

"You know I think one of the interesting effects of the book so far is a very clear, 'emperor has no clothes' effect — that the story that I've told seems to present this presidency in such a way that it says he can't do this job, the emperor has no clothes, and suddenly everywhere people are going, 'Oh my God it's true, he has no clothes.' That's the background to the perception and the understanding that will finally end this presidency," Wolff told the BBC.

"Fire and Fury," released Friday, describes Mr. Trump in an unflattering light, as someone prone to fits of frustration who eats cheeseburgers and watches TV in bed at 6:30 p.m., and whose capabilities are questioned by his entire senior staff. 

"He doesn't read, he doesn't listen, he's profoundly uncurious. He's just interested in what he's interested in and isn't interested in the larger problems of the world, almost any of them," Wolff told the BBC.

"That's on the one hand, so the other side is he's experiencing now issues, fundamentally physical, mental issues..." Wolff continued. 

Wolff, who says he conducted more than 200 interviews for his book and took up a semi-permanent seat in the West Wing for months, was asked if he sees Mr. Trump as someone who is mentally incapable of being president of the United States. 

"Well, I think he's intellectually incapable of being president of the United States," Wolff told the BBC. 

Mr. Trump took to Twitter early Saturday to defend himself, calling himself " a very stable genius" and slamming Wolff, saying he made up stories to sell his book.

Wolff also addressed his description of the president as childlike, an assessment senior officials in the White House share, he said. 

"Sometimes it's an 11-year-old. Sometimes it's a six-year-old. Sometimes it's a two-year-old," Wolff said. "All about his need for immediate gratification. I want what I want, when I want." 

Wolff also stood by portions of his book that have been called into question, such as his claim that former British Prime Minister Tony Blair warned the Trump campaign that campaign aides were under surveillance by British spies. Blair has flat-out denied the claim, but Wolff said he stands by his sources. 

"Tony Blair, listen," Wolff told the BBC. "All I know is that Steve Bannon and Tony Blair came to the White House. I actually was there, sitting on the couch. Saw him there. And shortly thereafter, Jared Kushner and Steve Bannon got into a car, went out to Langley to see the director of the CIA and the deputy director, and to ask about these things that Tony Blair had told the president."

The author also addressed criticism that his book might be too one-dimensional, and if Mr. Trump was really incapable, he never could have made it to the White House. 

"You know, I use the comparison of 'The Producers,'" Wolff said. "That this entire campaign was designed to bring Donald Trump fame and riches if he did not win, and winning is the thing that exposes him. And I would leave it there and say what we have is an event that should not have happened, and it is almost inexplicable that it did happen. And the fact that it has happened exposes the weakness of the system, but it also exposes Donald Trump himself. He has no clothes." 

CBS News' Eleanor Tuohy contributed to this report. 

  • Kathryn Watson

    Kathryn Watson is a politics reporter for CBS News Digital.