Working on the second floor of the West Wing allowed aides to avoid dealing with President Donald Trump because he never walked up the stairs to get to the upper floor, a forthcoming book by author Michael Wolff said.
Wolff wrote that working out of the second-floor office, as Trump advisors Kellyanne Conway and Stephen Miller opted to do, “meant a degree of exclusion but also protection” because “Trump would never climb the stairs (and, by the end of his term, he never had).”
An excerpt of Wolff’s book “Landslide: The Final Days of the Trump Presidency” published in New York Magazine on Monday shed more light on the confusion among Trump and his hollowed-out circle of aides as the January 6 insurrection unfolded.
The unlikelihood of Trump climbing those stairs was first reported by The Washington Post in January 2017, during the early days of the Trump administration.
“Though Conway took over the workspace previously occupied by Valerie Jarrett, who had been Obama’s closest adviser, the confidant dismissively predicted that Trump would rarely climb a flight of stairs,” The Post said at the time.
In April, Trump lodged a rare defense of President Joe Biden after he took a tumble on the stairs of Air Force One while leaving Joint Base Andrews in March. Trump defended Biden against criticisms that he is too old, and compared Biden’s plane stumble to when he struggled to walk down a ramp at West Point in June 2020.
“I know that if it were me, they would be up and down, going crazy,” Trump told Fox News’ Sean Hannity. “I had an instance where on a slippery, slippery ramp, a piece of steel, very steep and very long railings … and it was pouring at West Point.” He added, “The last thing I want to do is go down because when Gerald Ford went down and it was not good.”
“Landslide” is scheduled to be published by Henry Holt & Co. on July 27.