It’s little surprise Bob Woodward's latest book, “Rage,” about Donald Trump and his presidency, sold 600,000 copies in its first week. In its first week, it also landed the No. 1 spot on USA TODAY's Best-Selling Books list, unseating another Trump book, "Disloyal: The True Story of the Former Personal Attorney to President Donald J. Trump," by Michael Cohen.
Trump books are, if you’ll pardon the phrasing, all the rage right now.
And not just right now, but throughout the entirety of the Trump presidency. Given the average daily news cycle, you'd think we’d all have our fill of Trump-related media. But the appetite for Trump books appears endless – especially those that dish on what goes on behind closed doors, often in a critical light.
Pro-Trump books have also become an industry of their own: Conservative figures such as the president's son, Donald Trump Jr.; conservative commentators Sean Hannity and Jeanine Pirro; and activist David Horowitz have been churning out books like clockwork in support of the president. Trump Jr.'s "Liberal Privilege" and "Triggered," Hannity's "Live Free or Die," Pirro's "Radicals, Resistance, and Revenge" and "Liars, Leakers, and Liberals" and Horowitz's "Blitz" and "Big Agenda" have all landed on USA TODAY's Best-Selling Books list alongside estranged niece Mary Trump's scathing psychological portrait, “Too Much and Never Enough: How My Family Created the World’s Most Dangerous Man." Business is booming for both sides.
But especially interesting are the books that offer an inside look at Trump's White House. Here are 10 of the most revelatory titles from ex-administration officials, intelligence agents and former insiders (most of whom, it's worth noting, were fired) about Trump, his White House and First Lady Melania Trump, and what we learned from reading them.
“A Warning,” by Anonymous. Miles Taylor, a former chief of staff for the Department of Homeland Security, wrote this 2019 book under the pen name "Anonymous." He claimed that a number of Cabinet members would have supported the invocation of the 25th Amendment, which allows for the removal of a president if deemed unfit for office. Anonymous also claimed that White House officials considered a mass resignation in 2018 in order to draw public attention to Trump's conduct. Taylor stepped forward six days before the election to endorse Democratic challenger Joe Biden.
"Disloyal, a Memoir: The True Story of the Former Personal Attorney to President Donald J. Trump," by Michael Cohen
Trump’s former personal attorney and self-described fixer revealed that Trump allegedly wanted to install a new U.S. attorney in the southern district of New York over fears he would be indicted. "The reason the President wanted a new head prosecutor in the Southern District, I knew better than anyone, was so that while in office, he could arrange to be federally indicted. In the event he loses the election in November, he could then pardon himself, as he’s long claimed to be his right," Cohen wrote in the book out in September.
“Speaking for Myself: Faith, Freedom, and the Fight of Our Lives Inside the Trump White House,” by Sarah Huckabee Sanders
“In the raging battle between the president and the media, I often felt like I was on the front lines in no-man’s land,” Trump’s former press secretary writes in her first book, documenting her two years in the role. Sanders remains loyal to Trump, writing, “President Trump isn’t perfect, he isn’t always easy, but he loves the American people.” One colorful anecdote raised some eyebrows: Sanders writes that North Korean leader Kim Jong-un winked at her during a 2018 summit in Singapore, and Trump joked she would have to “take one for the team.”
“Compromised: Counterintelligence and the Threat of Donald J. Trump,” by Peter Strzok
The former FBI counterintelligence agent, who was removed from Robert Mueller's Special Counsel investigation and later fired when personal texts by Strzok critical of Trump were discovered, writes about investigating Russian interference in America's elections. (He has since sued the Justice Department and FBI over his termination, arguing it was politically motivated.) Strzok writes in the book out in September: “Given what we knew or had cause to suspect about Trump’s compromising behavior in the weeks, months, and years leading up to the election, moreover, it also seemed conceivable, if unlikely, that Moscow had indeed pulled off the most stunning intelligence achievement in human history: secretly controlling the president of the United States — a Manchurian candidate elected.”
"Melania and Me: The Rise and Fall of My Friendship With the First Lady," by Stephanie Winston Wolkoff
Wolkoff went scorched earth on her ex-BFF of nearly two decades in this vengeful tell-all, out in September. Wolkoff wrote that she adored Melania Trump and took on Herculean tasks, like helping to organize the inauguration and the first lady's office, and then was “betrayed” and fired when the Presidential Inaugural Committee came under scrutiny. "What a fool I was thinking I could make a difference in the middle of this den of thieves," she writes. Melania Trump called the book "idle gossip trying to distort my character."
"The Room Where it Happened: A White House Memoir," by John Bolton
Trump's former national security adviser paints a chaotic portrait of his former employer’s presidency, portraying Trump himself as uninformed, incompetent, erratic and obsessed with reelection, and said working in the Trump White House was "like living inside a pinball machine." The book came out in June, but the drama is far from over: Federal prosecutors have issued a grand jury subpoena to Bolton’s publisher, Simon & Schuster, as part of a criminal investigation into whether Bolton unlawfully disclosed classified information.
“A Higher Loyalty,” by James Comey
The former FBI director knows from his time as a prosecutor how mobs work – and a mob is what he compared the Trump administration to in the 2018 book. “The silent circle of assent. The boss in complete control. The loyalty oaths. The us-versus-them worldview. The lying about all things, large and small, in service to some code of loyalty that put the organization above morality and above the truth,” Comey writes.
“The Threat: How the FBI Protects America in the Age of Terror and Trump,” by Andrew McCabe
The former deputy director of the FBI, who was fired by Trump just 26 hours before his scheduled retirement, recounts in detail the time between Trump’s election and his own firing, and argues that his former boss and his administration are the greatest threat to American democracy. Of the president’s derogatory tweets leveled at him, McCabe writes, “It is meaningless to be called a liar by the most prolific liar I have ever encountered.”
"Trump: The Blue-Collar President," by Anthony Scaramucci
Scaramucci spent only 11 tumultuous days as White House communications director before he was dismissed, but his 2018 book provides a glimpse of his time on Trump’s campaign, outlining his former boss’ appeal to working-class Americans. He also claims former White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus and former White House Chief Strategist Steve Bannon were responsible for his quick ouster in July 2017. "The town is like the writers from 'Game of Thrones' joined the writers from 'The Hunger Games' and 'VEEP' to write an episode of 'House of Cards,'" Scaramucci writes. "It's not a matter of if you're going to get (expletive) in Washington, it's a matter of when. For me, the countdown clock started to tick the moment Trump gave me the job."
“Unhinged: An Insider’s Account of the Trump White House,” Omarosa Manigault Newman
Omarosa, an "Apprentice" contestant turned assistant to the president got in on the Trump book game early after her resignation was announced in 2017 (code for "You're fired"). She published her book the following year saying she “escaped from the cult of Trumpworld.” Trump, Omarosa wrote, has changed. “The Donald Trump of 2003 was as smart and as shrewd as he claimed to be.” Omarosa claimed Trump rambles and often speaks “gibberish,” and flies into rages when upset. “I seriously began to suspect the president was delusional or had a mental condition, that made him forget from one day to the next,” she wrote.
“The Briefing: Politics, The Press, and The President,” by Sean Spicer
Before Spicer broke the internet with his ruffled, fluorescent-green shirt on “Dancing With the Stars,” he served for six months as Trump’s press secretary. His first book post-White House bills itself as the first insider’s look into Trump’s administration, to which Spicer remains loyal. In his first news conference as press secretary, Spicer was combative with the media over Trump’s inauguration crowd size, insisting (contrary to photos that proved otherwise) that it had been the largest inauguration audience in history. The Guardian reports that in his book, Spicer explains that infamous briefing was the result of pressure from the president. “I went back to my office, expecting an ‘attaboy’ from the president,” Spicer writes. “Instead Reince (Priebus, former White House Chief of Staff) was waiting for me and said the president wasn’t happy at all with how I had performed.” He continues, “And I started to wonder if my first day would be my last.”
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Donald Trump books are the 'Rage': 11 from inside the White House