The first release of excerpts from the book “A Warning” by Anonymous — purportedly a senior White House official — was drawing mixed reaction Thursday night. Some found the revelations shocking, others far less so. Still others called the writer cowardly.
Some who read the excerpts in The Washington Post or heard them on “The Rachel Maddow Show” were appalled at the descriptions of President Donald Trump’s troubling behavior. One passage compared Trump to “your elderly uncle running pantsless” across the courtyard of a nursing home.
Some who know Trump well were not so surprised — like writer Tony Schwartz, who ghost-wrote Trump’s book “The Art of the Deal.” He referred to the president as a “sociopath in the White House.” A Marine vet said readers don’t need a warning; “We already know he’s unfit.”
A number of critics contrasted the writer cloaked in anonymity with the government officials now testifying as part of the House impeachment inquiry. The New York Times noted harshly in its review of the book: “How can a book that has been denuded of anything too specific do anything more than pale against a formal whistleblower complaint?”
One critic on Twitter called the book excerpts empty, distracting “resistance porn” — while others suggested on Twitter that they read transcripts of the ongoing impeachment testimony rather than the book.
Walter Shaub, the former head of the U.S. Office of Government Ethics, faulted Anonymous for failing to follow whistleblower rules to provide solid information for investigation. Shaub spoke out when asked on Twitter about the difference between Anonymous and the whistleblower in the Ukraine scandal.
Former GOP strategist John Weaver was downright annoyed.
There were also the diehard Trump supporters, like former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, who called the excerpts “cowardly crap,” and Mark Levin, one of Trump’s favorite Fox News hosts.