Let's assume #WoodwardBook is complete falsehood (UNLIKELY), why is #Trump tweeting (8x in 6 hours) about #Fear when he should be sleeping? Is the content of the book keeping him up? #USA #Woodward #CNNSOTU #MSNBC #maddow #Resist #CNN #FoxNews #FoxAndFriends #NPR #ICYMI #Mattis pic.twitter.com/TZNV44Ctds— Phil Neilsen (@Phil_Neilsen) September 5, 2018
President Donald Trump was already in for a tough midterm election in November and a bombshell book might add to the muddle that is the Trump White House.
Renowned Watergate journalist Bob Woodward’s book on the Trump presidency, “Fear,” made a grand entrance and the astounding revelations in it, paint picture of a chaotic White House, with aides at their wit’s end with the commander-in-chief.
Although, Trump, the White House and several top Trump administration officials have denounced the book as “fiction” and “fabrication,” it doesn’t take away from the fact that the incidents reported in the book echo shocking similarities to other books written about the Trump administration.
The excerpt from “Fear,” which was published by The Washington Post, according to which aides would often work behind the president’s backs to avert disasters after failing to convince him otherwise. Senior officials reportedly removed documents from Trump’s desk which they did not want him to sign.
Trump is known for his impulsive behavior, often rage-tweeting unlike any other former president. There have been long-standing reports of riffs between Trump and his Chief of Staff John Kelly, with the latter often losing his cool over Trump’s erratic behavior.
According to Woodward, Kelly would call the president “unhinged” in front of other staffers. He also reportedly called Trump “an idiot,” who was beyond trying to reason with.
“He’s gone off the rails. We’re in Crazytown. I don’t even know why any of us are here. This is the worst job I’ve ever had,” Kelly said, according to the book.
The book’s excerpt contained many such shocking details. Here are the wildest bits of the lot:
Trump’s practice testimony for the Russian investigation was a disaster
According to Woodward, when Trump’s lead attorney on the Russia probe (which is headed by Special Counsel Robert Mueller over Russian interference in the 2016 presidential elections), John Dowd, tried to hold a “practice session” for the POTUS’ possible testimony in front of Mueller, the president contradicted and lied so much, he eventually blew up, calling the investigation “a hoax” and eventually saying, “I don’t really want to testify.”
Trump was really, really angry about condemning white supremacists
The president faced a lot of heat after he blamed “both sides” for the deadly Charlottesville rally. He later released another statement condemning white supremacists and neo-Nazis, upon his advisers’ insistence. According to “Fear,” Trump was not very happy about the corrected statement and told his allies it was “the biggest fucking mistake I’ve made” and the “worst speech I’ve ever given.”
Trump called Jeff Sessions “mentally retarded” and a “dumb Southerner”
The POTUS, who has often publicly berated the Attorney General, reportedly made fun of his accent, saying “This guy is mentally retarded. He’s this dumb Southerner. … He couldn’t even be a one-person country lawyer down in Alabama.”
Trump made inaccurate claims about John McCain’s military service
Defense Secretary Jim Mattis and Gen. Joseph F. Dunford Jr., the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, joined the POTUS and other military officials for a dinner when Trump suggested McCain cowardly used his father’s military post to get an early release from his prisoner-of-war camp in Vietnam. When corrected by Mattis that he had got his facts reversed, Trump simply said, “Oh okay.”
Trump wanted to assassinate Syrian President Bashar al-Assad
Mattis, at that time agreed with the president but as soon as the call ended, he said, “We’re not going to do any of that. We’re going to be much more measured.”
Trump tweeted, calling Woodward a “Dem operative.”
The Woodward book has already been refuted and discredited by General (Secretary of Defense) James Mattis and General (Chief of Staff) John Kelly. Their quotes were made up frauds, a con on the public. Likewise other stories and quotes. Woodward is a Dem operative? Notice timing?— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 4, 2018
He also posted a series of tweets with statements from White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders, Kelly and Mattis, all refuting claims in the book.
Statement from White House Chief of Staff, General John Kelly: pic.twitter.com/LUN8cDr3N5— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 4, 2018
Statement from Secretary of Defense, James Mattis: pic.twitter.com/OneaxKCneV— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 4, 2018
In an interview with Daily Caller, Trump questioned Woodward’s credibility and claimed he never spoke to him, “It’s just another bad book. He’s had a lot of credibility problems.”
"It’s just nasty stuff. I never spoke to him. Maybe I wasn’t given messages that he called,” he said.
Interestingly, before the book's release, Trump did not find any such problems with Woodward. In fact, an 11-minute audio of the pair speaking was posted on YouTube.
While Trump has vehemently painted “Fear” as an accusatory book with no basis in facts, it does not deny the fact, the book talks about exchanges that do not seem far-fetched.
Trump has been erratic, often lashing out at former and current officials in tweets and public. His feud with Sessions and McCain is well-documented.
All in all, the book only reiterated news that has been long reported at different instances during the Trump presidency; which, according to Woodward, is going through a “nervous breakdown.”
Thumbnail/ Banner Credits: REUTERS/Alex Gallardo/ Yuri Gripas