WASHINGTON – New York Times best-selling author Ronald Kessler has covered a handful of US presidents but tells CBN News President Donald Trump is the first to truly change the rules of the game.
Kessler's newest book, The Trump White House: Changing the Rules of the Game, takes a deep dive into the Trump White House and Trump himself.
Having known him for two decades, Kessler writes about Trump's "two sides."
Public Trump and Private Trump
"One is the one you see on TV who makes these sometimes outrageous tweets and comments to get attention for his brand," he told CBN News. "But then there's a real Donald that only inside people know, which is exactly the opposite."
Kessler called Trump "thoughtful and generous" and shared the story about the time Martha Stuart asked to tour Trump's Mar-a-Lago Club in Florida. Trump's butler told her to come by at three the next afternoon.
"He told Trump. Trump said fine. And then later in the day, Tony went to see if Trump needs anything in the private quarters and Trump started screaming at him," Kessler recounted. "'You should have scheduled it for noon tomorrow when the club members will be here and they would see Martha and Martha would see them. They would all be impressed.' At that moment Melania walked in and she said to her husband, 'I don't think you should be talking to Tony in that tone.'"
Kessler said nothing more was expressed but the next morning Trump handed the butler $2,000 in cash as an apology. The story is just one of many quirks in behavior Kessler mentions in the book.
A Side of Melania Trump the Media Does Not See or Report
Kessler also shares a lesser known side of First Lady Melania Trump.
"I think the most important thing about Melania is that she a real partner in this White House, that she contributes every single day to Trump's strategy," he said. "She will actually get him to try to not tweet so much. She's not successful at that but she will try to give him ideas, give him strategy and so she's really considered by White House aides to have the very best political savvy in the White House aside from Trump."
Kessler also believes she's a much stronger person than many give her credit for and shares a story from when she was just dating Trump. She broke up with Trump immediately when she learned he had gone out with one of his ex-girlfriends.
"She didn't care about the billions of dollars," said Kessler. "She broke up with him just like that. That tells you a lot about her character and also impressed Trump."
Mainstream Media Filled with "Scam Artists"
Another issue Kessler tackles is the mainstream media and what he sees as their unfair coverage of Trump.
"I have a chapter in this book titled Scam Artists, and that's what they are," Kessler said. "I was with The Washington Post way back during the Watergate era. I sat next to what Woodward and Bernstein and I can tell you that back then we would have been fired in a second if we had written the kind of stories you see today in the mainstream media."
For the critics who say Kessler went too soft on Trump in the book, Kessler says that's simply not true.
"The book is a truthful account so on the one hand, it says that Trump will be seen as one of the greatest presidents based on the results, but at the same time it goes into the missteps. It goes into the strange quirks that we see with Donald Trump over and over again," he said.
Kessler encourages those critics to read his book cover to cover.
"To say that it's a puff piece is obviously wrong if anybody reads the book."