Trump White House responds to explosive new book 'Fire and Fury'

"It's completely tabloid gossip, full of false and fraudulent claims," White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said.
3:00 | 01/06/18

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Transcript for Trump White House responds to explosive new book 'Fire and Fury'
Reporter: Even on the coldest night of the year -- Everyone really has been talking about it. As cliche as that is. Reporter: Crowds lined up outside this Washington, D.C. Bookstore, which stayed open until 1:00 A.M. They quickly sold out of the new kiss and tell book on the trump white house, "Fire and fury" by journalist Michael Wolff, already the talk of the town. It seems like everyone has such a story to tell and wants to tell it. Reporter: Early reviews from the white house, not so favorable. I'm not going to waste my time or the country's time going page by page talking about a book that's complete fantasy and just full of tabloid gossip. Reporter: The white house is not happy at all about the devastating portrait the book gives of Donald Trump's first year in office. They all say he is like a child. And what they mean by that is, he has a need for immediate gratification. It's all about him. Reporter: Today the author gave his first interview on "Today." He stands by his reporting, despite the powerful pushback from Pennsylvania avenue. My credibility is being questioned by a man who has less credibility than perhaps anyone who has ever walked on Earth, at this point. Reporter: The president's lawyers even threatened to block publication, to no avail. The supreme court has made very clear that you really basically cannot libel a public figure. And he's just left to rail against it. But not be able to really do anything. Reporter: Instead, the white house reaction has almost guaranteed that "Fire and fury" will become a bestseller. On Amazon it's already jumped to number one. The fact at we are reading that trump was not prepared to be president, that he doesn't pay attention to details, that he is demanding and childish, are things that we've been hearing all year. Seeing them all in one place and in somewhat probably exaggerated form is more shocking than the actual facts of them. Reporter: The controversial book appears to have opened a rift between the president and his former chief strategist, Steve Bannon. The two men, who seem to be kindred political spirits. Steve's been a friend of my opinion for a long time, I like Steve a lot. Donald Trump was the best candidate I think we had since Ronald Reagan. Reporter: The new book quotes Bannon using words like treasonous, unpatriotic, to describe don trump jr.'s 2016 meeting at trump tower with a Russian lawyer whom he thought had dirt on Hillary Clinton. Bannon reportedly says they should have called the FBI right away. Today former white house spokesman Sean spicer pushed back. Are you confident that the president did nothing wrong? As far as the campaign and the collusion, absolutely. I was there for most of that, the end part of the campaign. I know that that didn't happen. I think it's pretty cheer that there was no collusion. Reporter: So did former communications director Anthony scaramucci. The treasonous comment is absolutely ridiculous. There's nobody less treasonous than don Jr. There's nobody more patriotic. Reporter: Bannon has not denied the treasonous quote attributed to him. Or that he reportedly said they're going to crack don Jr. Like an egg on national TV. Or that he reportedly called daughter Ivanka Trump dumb as a brick. Trump's punchback? Steve Bannon has nothing to do with me or my presidency, when he was fired he not only lost his job, he lost his mind." Almost immediately, Bannon tried to apologize to keep the peace. The president of the united States is a great man, you know I support him day in and day out -- If Steve Bannon's purpose is to have influence inside the Republican party, then it was to show that he knows the truth about Donald Trump and he's going to tell the American people, then he's done it. Reporter: The book is just one of the distractions now facing the trump white house. There's also the Russia investigation. "The New York Times" reports that last year the president sent white house counsel Donald Mcgann to pressure attorney general Jeff sessions not to recuse himself from the justice department's probe into Russian meddling and possible collusion by associates of the trump campaign. A move that the "Times" claims could fuel an obstruction of justice case. The fact is that the attorney general is the attorney general of the United States. Not of the president. The president has a lawyer. And the president's lawyers can protect the president. Reporter: Sessions ultimately did recuse himself. And that paved the way for special counsel Robert Mueller. President trump tried to change the subject today. The stock market is up very, very big today. The tax cuts are really kicking in. We're making America great again. Reporter: He headed to camp David trying to project an aura of business as usual. But clearly he's hurt. Did Steve Bannon betray you? I don't know, he called me a great man last night, so he obviously changed his tune pretty quick. Reporter: In Washington the phrase fire and fury seems to sum up the mood pretty well. I'm David Wright for "Nightline" in Washington.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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