Michael Wolff attacked CNN’s Brain Stelter on air, calling him ‘full of sanctimony’

Michael Wolff speaking to CNN's Brian Stelter on Sunday July 18, 2021.
Michael Wolff called CNN’s Brian Stelter “one of the reasons people hate the media.”

  • Michael Wolff flipped out at CNN’s Brain Stelter on air, calling him ‘full of sanctimony.’
  • The pair were discussing Wolff’s latest book on Donald Trump’s presidency.
  • Wolff told Stelter: “You are one of the reasons people can’t stand the media.”
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Donald Trump’s biographer Michael Wolff criticized CNN host Brian Stelter on his own show, calling him “full of sanctimony” and saying that he was “one of the reasons people can’t stand the media” in a combative interview on Sunday.

Wolff was appearing on Stelter’s show “Reliable Sources” to discuss his latest book on Donald Trump’s presidency, “Landslide.”

Stelter suggested Wolff had previously sought to secure access to Trump by criticizing Stelter and CNN during an appearance on “Reliable Sources” in 2017.

Wolff admitted that Trump – a frequent critic of CNN – had called him the day after the interview to congratulate him for bashing the network.

But he denied that the criticism had been deliberately intended to curry favor with Trump.

“I don’t want you to think that what I said at that point was in any way inauthentic. I think the media has done a terrible job on this,” Wolff told Stelter.

“I think you yourself, while you’re a nice guy, you’re full of sanctimony. You become one of the parts of the problem of the media.

“You come on here and you have a monopoly on truth, you know exactly how things are supposed to be done.

He added: “You are one of the reasons people can’t stand the media. Sorry, it’s your fault.”

Asked by Stelter what he should do differently, Wolff replied: “Don’t talk so much. Listen more.”

The pair also clashed earlier in the interview over a claim in Wolff’s book that Rupert Murdoch personally permitted Fox News to call Arizona for President Joe Biden in last year’s presidential election.

Wolff wrote that Rupert Murdoch received a call from his son Lachlan, the CEO of Fox Corporation, saying that Fox News’ Decision Desk was ready to call the state for Biden.

He said that Rupert Murdoch had “every reason” to delay calling the state given the network’s allegiance to Trump.

But Wolff wrote that Murdoch, “with [a] signature grunt, assented, adding, ‘F— him.””

He told Stelter that he was well-sourced at Fox News because he has written a book about the network and the Murdochs in the past.

“I am Rupert Murdoch’s biographer,” he said.

“One of many,” Stelter said.

“No, not one of many. That’s totally ridiculous,” Wolff replied, adding that he had been given “enormous access” to Murdoch for the book.

Fox News denied Wolff’s reporting in a statement to Insider. Some of his claims in previous books about Trump have been disputed by multiple journalists.

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