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Posted by on Sep 4, 2018 in Books, Politics | 0 comments

Bob Woodward’s new book: reveals a ‘nervous breakdown’ of Trump’s presidency

Legendary Washington Post reporter/editor Bob Woodward’s book “Fear” isn’t out until Sept. 11, but details are now being leaked (and it’s already a best seller on Amazon…I ordered my Kindle copy today). And the White House is already trying to discredit it saying it’s a collection of things that never happened leaked by “disgruntled” former employees.,

I’ve always wondered: if you stay in a job are you a “gruntled” employee?

It’s unlikely that attempts to discredit Woodward will be easy, given the accuracy of his past reporting and his famous “fly on the wall” technique. But it’s already generating news stories. To wit:

John Dowd was convinced that President Trump would commit perjury if he talked to special counsel Robert S. Mueller III. So, on Jan. 27, the president’s then-personal attorney staged a practice session to try to make his point.

In the White House residence, Dowd peppered Trump with questions about the Russia investigation, provoking stumbles, contradictions and lies until the president eventually lost his cool.

“This thing’s a goddamn hoax,” Trump erupted at the start of a 30-minute rant that finished with him saying, “I don’t really want to testify.”

The dramatic and previously untold scene is recounted in “Fear,” a forthcoming book by Bob Woodward that paints a harrowing portrait of the Trump presidency, based on in-depth interviews with administration officials and other principals.

Woodward writes that his book is drawn from hundreds of hours of interviews with firsthand participants and witnesses that were conducted on “deep background,” meaning the information could be used but he would not reveal who provided it. His account is also drawn from meeting notes, personal diaries and government documents.


A central theme of the book is the stealthy machinations used by those in Trump’s inner sanctum to try to control his impulses and prevent disasters, both for the president personally and for the nation he was elected to lead.

Woodward describes “an administrative coup d’etat” and a “nervous breakdown” of the executive branch, with senior aides conspiring to pluck official papers from the president’s desk so he couldn’t see or sign them.

Again and again, Woodward recounts at length how Trump’s national security team was shaken by his lack of curiosity and knowledge about world affairs and his contempt for the mainstream perspectives of military and intelligence leaders.


At a National Security Council meeting on Jan. 19, Trump disregarded the significance of the massive U.S. military presence on the Korean Peninsula, including a special intelligence operation that allows the United States to detect a North Korean missile launch in seven seconds vs. 15 minutes from Alaska, according to Woodward. Trump questioned why the government was spending resources in the region at all.

“We’re doing this in order to prevent World War III,” Defense Secretary Jim Mattis told him.

After Trump left the meeting, Woodward recounts, “Mattis was particularly exasperated and alarmed, telling close associates that the president acted like — and had the understanding of — ‘a fifth- or sixth-grader.’?”

In Woodward’s telling, many top advisers were repeatedly unnerved by Trump’s actions and expressed dim views of him. “Secretaries of defense don’t always get to choose the president they work for,” Mattis told friends at one point, prompting laughter as he explained Trump’s tendency to go off on tangents about subjects such as immigration and the news media.

And (in the case of the soiled pot calling the shining, clean pot black). Trump’s response to a right-wing publication is predictable (expect to see more of it from him and especially from Sean, Fox News, etc):

President Donald Trump addressed newly released excerpts from Bob Woodward’s book on his administration, denying some specific allegations and accusing the author of credibility issues, in an exclusive Oval Office interview with The Daily Caller.

“It’s just another bad book. He’s had a lot of credibility problems,” Trump declared, adding, “I probably would have preferred to speak to him, but maybe not. I think it probably wouldn’t have made a difference in the book. He wanted to write the book a certain way.”

“It’s just nasty stuff. I never spoke to him. Maybe I wasn’t given messages that he called. I probably would have spoken to him if he’d called, if he’d gotten through. For some reason I didn’t get messages on it.”

Trump specifically denied that senior aides, such as former National Economic Council Director Gary Cohn, were removing papers from his desk, saying “that’s false,” that “it’s just made up” and that “there was nobody taking anything from me.”

But The Washington Post was quick to obliterate Trump’s claim that he never got a message from Woodward. It has an audio of a tape recorded call. GO HERE to listen to it.

Meanwhile, denials and attempts to discredit the book by some quoted and Trump supporters on social media are plentiful. Expect many more in coming days (and weeks).

Attempts to discredit the book will only work with Trump’s base. He wasn’t elected with just his base but with some independent voters, plus some Democrats who either didn’t vote or voted for him because they didn’t like Hillary Clinton. The book will add to a growing body of reportage (and his own zillion or soTweets) that are unlikely to bolster his standing in history — or his opinion poll numbers. GOPers running for election will have to ignore any questions about the book or try to discredit the book.

But Woodward isn’t where he is because he wrote inaccurate, made up stories.

He talks to disgruntled employees and gruntled employees.