Trump just wants to be loved, 'Fire and Fury' author Michael Wolff says

  • "This is a man who wants to be loved," "Fire and Fury" author Michael Wolff tells CNBC.
  • President Trump's skills as a salesman are "actually sort of great," Wolff says.

"Fire and Fury" author Michael Wolff said Tuesday that President Donald Trump's fundamental desire isn't just winning — it's love.

Despite receiving tremendous pushback from the White House — which characterized the tell-all book as a work of "trashy tabloid fiction" — Wolff told CNBC that Trump would likely praise him if they ever met again.

"I'm sure if we were together for two minutes, he would be flattering me and I would be helplessly flattering him again," Wolff said in a "Squawk Box" interview.

"The thing is," Wolff continued, "this is a man who wants to be loved."

Wolff said he liked the president when he began reporting on the book, which initially was meant to detail Trump's first 100 days in the White House.

Trump, Wolff said, is probably "annoyed" at the publicity the book has received. Among the most explosive claims Wolff makes are that Trump didn't actually want to be president, and that former advisor Steve Bannon called a Trump Tower meeting between Donald Trump Jr. and a Russian lawyer "treasonous."

The president struck back against Bannon and Wolff.

Though Wolff's book makes damning claims about the president, the author said Trump's skills as a salesman are still evident.

"When you get in a room with Donald Trump, he turns on this thing," Wolff said. "It's actually sort of great."