NEW YORK, NY – The life of Doug Wead, 73, the author of 31 non-fiction books, including 4 biographies of presidents and presidential families, was turned into a living hell during the days and weeks surrounding November 26, 2019. The latter was the day that Wead’s widely previewed and highly laudatory, 2 years in the making book on the Trump presidency, “Inside Trump’s White House: The Real Story of His Presidency”, was released.
Wead, whom I interviewed last week, repeated to me what I had already learned from reading past news reports.
“The days leading up to November 26, I received a multitude of anonymous death threats, many writing they hated President Trump and wanted to kill me and even my family for my writing positive things about him. One person warned me that if the book was sent for distribution my entire family would be ‘bathed in blood’. Another wrote, ‘Wead needs a f—ing bullet in his head’” he chillingly recalled. “Law enforcement officials” he added, “told me that they believe these threats could be coming from left-wing extremists.”
Fearful for the safety of Wead and his family, the book’s publisher, Hachette Book Group, offered to rescind their agreement to release the book. Wead explained why he chose not to accept his publisher’s offer. “I believed that if I gave in to the thugs who made those threats, I would be encouraging them and others like them to threaten other writers whose views they opposed. That would be the opposite of what our great nation is all about. So I knew I had to remain strong”, he explained.
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Still Wead, who with his wife of thirty years, Myriam, has 5 children and 8 grandchildren, told me that he possesses a deep sense of personal guilt concerning the dangers these threats, which even 6 weeks after the book’s release continue to reach him by email every day, present to his family. “At 73, I have lived a long life and don’t worry about the threat to my own personal safety. But I feel responsible for the danger that now faces my wife, children and grandchildren”, he lamented.
That danger which now confronts the entire Wead family is over a book which I, as someone who read its 439 pages from cover to cover, believe that, rather than inciting the vile death threats from his despicable enemies, should be respected, if not celebrated, by all fair – minded Americans, regardless of their political views. Or, as Wead himself told me, “I cannot understand where this hatred is coming from. In this and all of my other works, I have always attempted to provide my readers with first-hand accounts of news and historical events that any person, regardless of his or her political affiliation, would find honest and fair.” He has indeed.
For his previous 3 books on presidents and presidential families, Wead had interviewed 6 presidents and first ladies and 24 children and 12 siblings of presidents. Similarly, for “Trump’s White House” Wead conducted lengthy, recorded interviews with the president himself, Trump family members- including, Jared Kushner, Ivanka Trump, Eric and Lara Trump- as well as top aides- including Chief of Staff Michael Mulvaney, then Press Secretary Sandra Huckabee Sanders and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.
Wead, who in addition to his writing career, co-founded in 1979 and served as one of the original board members of Mercy Corps, a charitable organization which has distributed more than $2 billion worth of food and medicine to famine and natural disaster plagued nations throughout the globe, explained why he felt that access to such primary sources makes his book on Trump fair and accurate, unlike, he contended, other writings on the president.
“Most of the authors of the many other books written on President Trump relied heavily upon anonymous sources, usually offering anti-Trump fabrications” he stated, “For ‘Inside Trump’s White House’, I did the direct opposite. I conducted recorded interviews with his top advisors and his closest aides. And from those interviews, I received”, he added, “an inside first-hand account of how President Trump has achieved- in the economy, foreign affairs and a host of other issues- more successes and accomplishments than any president before him within a comparable first 3 years of his presidency.”
Citing one major multi-faceted economic accomplishment documented in his book, Wead stated, “Because of President Trump’s pro-entrepreneur, pro-worker and pro-energy independence policies, our economic growth exceeds 3 percent annually, more than 6 million new jobs have been created, the numbers of blacks, Hispanics, Asians and women in the workforce have hit new highs, wages have risen for white-collar and even more so for blue-collar workers, and the soaring stock market has hit historical highs.”
Wead, who sounded more relaxed as the interview continued, and we were no longer discussing the threats he and his family has had to endure, was no less laudatory of Trump’s foreign affairs accomplishments.
“As I write in my book”, noted Wead, “A succession of recent presidents had made campaign promises to move the American embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. Then candidate Donald Trump made that promise too. But unlike his predecessors, President Trump delivered on that promise.”
“More importantly, as I also describe in the book”, Wead continued, “Within Trump’s first 18 months in office, our military had practically wiped out ISIS, saving hundreds of thousands of men, women and children in parts of Africa and the Middle East from almost certain slaughter; and by defeating ISIS we also eliminated the then real threat that its followers would commit lethal terrorists attack against the West, including here in America. And as I reminded my readers”, he added, “ISIS had carried out their genocidal crimes with almost total impunity during the Obama Administration.”
In addition to what we had already discussed during the first 50 minutes of our scheduled one hour interview, there remained many other examples of Trump’s accomplishments that I had read about in the book that I wanted to question the author on. Those accomplishments included the president persuading our NATO allies to increase their defense spending by $140 billion; using the threat of tariffs to coerce Mexico to crack down on illegal immigration; appointing to the federal bench a historic number of strict constitutional judges, including Supreme Court Justices Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh; initiating crippling economic sanctions against Iran, thus forcing that terrorist sponsoring state to dramatically reduce its funding for its terrorists proxies, which include Hamas and Hezbollah. But time would not allow for that discussion.
Nor would there be enough time remaining in the interview for me to question Wead on his moving depiction of the loving family relationship shared by Trump with his 5 children, 10 grandchildren and wife, Melania.
But there remained one key, not yet discussed topic that I knew I had to explore. That topic, highlighted in his book, would always be the elephant in the room anywhere, any time or with whomever the Trump Presidency was being discussed.
That elephant in the room, as you probably have already guessed, is the seemingly never- ending process of the on-going impeachment of President Trump, or, as Wead calls it in the book, “The Impeachment Game.”
“It is a vicious game that the Democratic Party in alliance with the national media are playing against President Trump as well as against the almost 63 million Americans who voted to elect him president”, stated Wead. “As I explain in the book, the ugly truth about that game, which they first infamously named ‘Russian Collusion’ is that even before Trump’s inauguration and even before the launching of the totally fabricated Russian conspiracy theory, his enemies were calling for his impeachment.”
“The reality is that”, Wead elaborated, “as special Counsel Robert Mueller determined after his staff reviewed 1.4 million pages of White House supplied memorandum and after they interrogated Trump’s personal lawyer for 70 hours, the articles of impeachment against President Trump had no basis in fact or law. But that finding does not appear to change the minds of his political opponents, who seem indifferent to how the entire dishonest impeachment process is tearing America apart.”
Wead remained seemingly intentionally silent when I told him as the interview was about to end that I also blamed Twitter for contributing to “tearing America apart”: finding common cause with the pond scum who had threatened the life of Wead and his family, Twitter had recently announced that they would ban “Inside Trump’s White House: The Real Story of His Presidency” from being advertised on their platform site.
I didn’t say this to Wead, but I hope that this insidious ban will convince all those regardless of political affiliations who believe in free speech to take a trip to their local bookstores to purchase this terrific book. I now plan to go to my own and buy a second copy of it (which I will give as a holiday present to my anti-Trump brother), and I just might see them there.