The explosive tell-all book Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House just did some serious name-dropping, and one of those names is none other than Anna Wintour —Vogue editor, reigning queen of the fashion industry, and ... ambassador hopeful? In his book, journalist Michael Wolff claims Wintour petitioned Trump to be made the U.S. ambassador to the United Kingdom. A representative for Wintour denied the book's account, telling Business Insider: "I think it's pretty clear where Anna stands politically, which makes this laughably preposterous."
The book makes the hot claim that Wintour went to Trump Tower and spoke with Trump directly, angling her case for why she should be made his U.S. ambassador to the U.K. Indeed it seems contradictory that Wintour, a big-time donor to Hillary Clinton, and before that Obama, would want to work for Trump.
But the idea that the Vogue editor is gunning for a job in foreign relations isn't a new one. Rumors that Wintour badly covets this ambassador position have been swirling around for years. In 2012, the fashion industry mogul was the fourth most generous donor to the Obama campaign. According to the New York Times, Wintour was hoping to make the leap from supporter to the president's British ambassador. That position would finally go to Matthew Barzun, a former tech media executive who spent 20 months as the head of the president's national fundraising operation. Barzun left the job when Trump took office.
Ahead of the 2016 election, Wintour closely aligned herself with the Clinton campaign. With Clinton no longer a viable path to the White House, Wintour decided to approach the newly minted leader of the United States — or so the book claims. An excerpt from Fire and Fury reads:
Now Wintour arrived at Trump Tower (but haughtily refused to do the perp walk) and, with quite some remarkable chutzpah, pitched herself to Trump to be his ambassador to the Court of St. James's. And Trump was inclined to entertain the idea. ("Fortunately," said Bannon, "there was no chemistry.")
Ambassador to the Court of St. James is the formal title for the U.S. ambassador to the United Kingdom and Bermuda. This is the second time within two weeks that Wintour and Trump have caught public attention together. In a late December Tweet-attack, Trump blasted Vanity Fair for apologizing over a Hillary Clinton joke video that sparked backlash. Then he seemed to mistake Wintour as the Vanity Fair editor and taunted that Wintour, who was "all set" to be ambassador to the Court of St. James, is "beside herself in grief" and "begging for forgiveness." Although Wintour is the editor-in-chief of Vogue, not Vanity Fair, she also serves as the artistic director of Condé Nast, which publishes both magazines.
Wolff's book mentions Wintour's supposed attempt to win over Trump as one of several courtships from industry leaders, including Amazon's Jeff Bezos, mission-to-Mars man Elon Musk, and media tycoon Rupert Murdoch (although the book also claims that Murdoch called Trump "a f*cking idiot" behind the president's back).
Through a spokesperson, Wintour denied the book's claims and she isn't the only one. Tony Blair, former U.K. Prime Minister, denied the claim that he alerted Trump's team to a rumor that U.K. intelligence was spying on Trump during the presidential campaign. Trump himself has slammed the book for being "full of lies, misrepresentations, and sources that don’t exist." Trump's lawyers attempted, but ultimately failed, to shut down the book, which details the White House's supposed internal squabbling and disdain for the president. Trump also hit out on Twitter at "Sloppy Steve" Bannon — the former White House chief strategist and current Breitbart News executive featured prominently in the book.