A Donald Trump Business Ally Says His Quote in Michael Wolff’s Book is Fake News

On Wednesday, The Guardian unveiled excerpts from a controversial new book about President Trump by journalist Michael Wolff. Now Tom Barrack, one of Trump’s closest friends and confidants in the business world, tells Fortune that the book attributes a disparaging quote to him that he never said—and that the author never asked him whether the quote was real.

The book, Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House, quoted sundry current and former Trump White House and campaign officials leveling explosive criticism at the president and his family. The Guardian excerpt also related a seemingly astounding broadside from Barrack—Trump’s leading champion in the business world, and the supporter whom Trump handpicked to lead his inaugural festivities. According to the Guardian excerpt, Wolff’s book states that in describing Trump, Barrack “allegedly told a friend: ‘He’s not only crazy, he’s stupid.’”

It’s not clear whether Wolff used the word “allegedly,” or if the Guardian added the term. The Guardian may have included it because Wolff had gotten the quote not directly from Barrack, but second-hand. It’s also possible that the quote comes not directly from Barrack’s friend, but from a third person who told Wolff he or she heard about it from that friend. Of course, we won’t know until we see the actual wording in Fire and Fury. Fortune reached out to Fire and Fury’s publisher, Henry Holt and Co., but did not receive an…

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