Donald Trump admitted to Bob Woodward that he likes ‘playing’ down the pandemic in the journalist’s new book, ‘Rage.’ Learn more about the author, who also helped uncover the Watergate scandal in the ’70s.
UPDATE (9/09/20, 10:34 PM ET): Journalist Bob Woodward is coming out with yet another tell-all book about Donald Trump, after conducting 18 interviews with the POTUS. In a preview for this book called Rage, which will hit bookstands on Sept. 15, Woodward documented startling conversations with Trump about the coronavirus pandemic in 2020.
“This is deadly stuff,” Trump admitted to Woodward on Feb. 7, according to The New York Times. Then, on March 19, the POTUS told Woodward, “I wanted to always play it down…I still like playing it down, because I don’t want to create a panic.” He also told the reporter in March, “Just today and yesterday, some startling facts came out. It’s not just old, older. Young people too — plenty of young people.”
Later, in April, Trump gave an update about the virus to the journalist, saying, “It’s so easily transmissible, you wouldn’t even believe it.” Ironically, Trump was pushing for the country to reopen during this time. In response, Trump lashed out by calling Woodward’s new book “boring” in the tweet below:
For years Fake stories and investigations, then the phony Russia, Russia, Russia HOAX, next Ukraine and the failed Impeachment, now the crummy Atlantic Magazine’s MADE UP STORY, and lastly, the political hit job by rapidly fading Bob Woodward and his boring book. It never ends!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 10, 2020
ORIGINAL: Bob Woodward, 75, paints a White House in chaos in his forthcoming book, Feat: Trump In The White House. The book portrays President Donald Trump, 73, as an angry, paranoid tyrant who thinks “everybody’s out to get [him],” according to the Washington Post. Bob describes a “nervous breakdown” of the executive branch, and that Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis and Chief of Staff John Kelly are at their wits end with the “unhinged” president. Both Jim and John have denied the allegations (while Trump has called it “boring & untrue”). So, who is Bob Woodward?
1. He’s one half of the team that brought down President Richard Nixon. Have you noticed how every scandal gets tagged with “ —gate?” (Nipplegate, Deflategate, etc.) That’s because of “Watergate,” or the scandal where five men broke into the Democratic National Committee at the Watergate office complex in Washington D.C. Bob and his partner, Carl Bernstein, were tipped to the break-in and through their investigative journalism, linked the break-in to the highest levels of then-President Richard Nixon’s administration. Nixon would ultimately resign over the cover-up of the break-in.
2. He almost became a lawyer instead of an investigative journalist. Robert Woodward, born March 26, 1943, graduated from Yale in 1965 with a B.A. degree in 1965. After a five-year tour of duty with the Navy, he considered attending law school, according to his website, but decided to apply for a job as a reporter for the Washington Post. He failed his initial two-week trail, and spent a year at the Montgomery Sentinel, a weekly in the D.C. suburbs. In 1971, he was hired as a reporter for the Post, and history was made.
3. He (sorta) won the Pulitzer prize…twice. While Bob hasn’t won the award himself, his crucial contributions helped the Washington Post take home two Pulitzers. His reporting on the Watergate scandal helped the paper win the award in 1973. He was also the main reporter for the Post’s coverage of the 9/11 attacks, and in 2002, the Post won the Pulitzer Prize for National Reporting for 10 of its stories on the attacks. Meanwhile, Bob has won pretty much every journalism award out there.
4. Bob’s been criticized for his accuracy in the past. Bob prefers to use anonymous sources in his word, and with a president who hates anonymous sources (though he was often an “anonymous source about himself” before he was president), it’s easy to see why Trump hates Bob’s new book. However, others in the past have called Woodward out: former CIA Director George Tenet challenged Bob’s claim that he said there was a “slam dunk case” that Saddam Hussein had WMDs in Iraq, per Politico. Woodward also reported that former CIA Director William Casey made a deathbed confession that he had known about the diversion of Iran arms sales money to the Contras in Nicaragua (aka the Iran-Contra scandal that nearly took down President Ronald Reagan). William’s daughter, Bernadette, said that Bob “never got the deathbed confession.”
5. He’s a bestseller. Bob has written or co-authored twelve No. 1 national bestselling non-fiction books. He’s written books like All The President’s Men, Wired (about the death of John Belushi), Bush At War, Obama’s Wars, and 2015’s The Last of the President’s Men.
Fear: Trump In The White House is set for a September 11, 2018 release.
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