The author of a new book about the Trump White House believes President Donald Trump will go down in history as one of the nation’s greatest presidents – even though he says Trump lies regularly “as part of his shtick.”
“He knows he’s making up stories, but he thinks it’s all a game,” Ronald Kessler, the author of "The Trump White House: Changing the Rules of the Game," told “Powerhouse Politics” podcast hosts Rick Klein and Jonathan Karl.
“It’s part of his shtick, and we’re going to be stuck with it,” continued Kessler.
But while Kessler said he wishes his longtime friend – who he says cooperated with the book – would hew more closely to the truth, he doubts it will hinder Trump’s achievements.
Kessler listed former Presidents Lyndon B. Johnson, Richard Nixon and Bill Clinton as leaders who have lied but “produced great results” during their terms.
Kessler labeled Counselor to the President Kellyanne Conway, as “the wholesale leaker” in the administration – a charge Conway has denied in interviews in recent days.
Kessler also alleges that the president himself regularly leaks information to reporters, in an effort to keep people guessing about the sources of leaks.
“When you leak on yourself it doesn’t set a good example,” Kessler said.
In addition to an interview with Trump, Kessler said he enjoyed wide access to top White House aides. Michael Wolff, the author of the far more critical book “Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House,” enjoyed roughly similar access, Kessler said.
But Kessler said he did not gain the cooperation of former White House communications director Hope Hicks – a mistake on Hicks’ part, he said.
“Everyone likes her. She’s beautiful. She certainly is a big supporter of Trump. But I would question her judgment because, first of all, she decided to cooperate on the Wolff book. Meanwhile, I was trying to get cooperation, and she wouldn’t cooperate with me. And I’m someone who’s known Trump for two decades.”