I am reading The Economist, and I do not understand one sentence.
ALMOST one year into Donald Trump’s presidency, you have to pinch yourself to make sense of it all. In “Fire and Fury”, Michael Wolff’s gossipy tale of the White House, which did not welcome Mr Trump’s anniversary so much as punch it in the face, the leader of the free world is portrayed as a monstrously selfish toddler-emperor seen by his own staff as unfit for office ...
Here, What does “which did not welcome Mr Trump’s anniversary so much as punch it in the face” mean? I thought the gossipy tale did not welcome the anniversary and it did not punch it either, but I am not sure.
Does it mean the tale did not welcome the anniversary as strong as it punched the anniversary? If so, why did the writer use “punch” instead of punched?
Could you please help me?
Thank you so much in advance.