Trump’s Book Club: A President Who Doesn’t Read Promotes the Books That Promote Him

As president, Mr. Trump has repeatedly used Twitter to praise authors who praise him, but he also has no qualms about delivering negative reviews about writers who do not cover him in a flattering light. He called Michael Wolff, the author of “Fire and Fury,” a damaging look at a chaotic White House, “a mentally deranged author,” and he accused the veteran journalist Bob Woodward, who chronicled the Trump administration in his book “Fear,” of making up sources.

“The already discredited Woodward book, so many lies and phony sources, has me calling Jeff Sessions ‘mentally retarded’ and ‘a dumb southerner,’” Mr. Trump wrote on Twitter. “I said NEITHER, never used those terms on anyone, including Jeff, and being a southerner is a GREAT thing. He made this up to divide!”

The White House did not respond to questions about what Mr. Trump’s favorite takeaways were from, say, Mr. Scalise’s book, or whether he has read all of the titles he has promoted. But two people familiar with his presidential reading habits, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said that he does not really have any.

Instead, those people said, Mr. Trump prefers visual aides like charts and graphs — all the better for imbibing information and moving on to the next topic. A recently praised author agreed.

“I was told by some friends at the White House that he’s kind of looked it over,” Stephen Moore said of “Trumponomics: Inside the America First Plan to Revive Our Economy,” which he co-wrote. “He’s aware of some of the charts and things like that in the book.”

Mr. Trump gave a thumb’s up to the book in his official Twitter review, describing it as “a terrific read of a really interesting subject!”

Instead of actually cracking a new book, Mr. Trump watches his favorite authors defend his policies on television. He will call them if they say something that displeases him, and then follow up with a comment on Twitter.

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