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Bob Woodward’s ‘tell all’ book puts Trump White House on the defensive

The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of this site. This site does not give financial, investment or medical advice.

Bob Woodward is something of an icon of American investigative journalism. His work with Carl Bernstein spelled the end of Richard Nixon’s career as President of the United States, and the story of how “two men with a typewriter” were able to bring down the most powerful man in the world is journalism legend.

In excerpts from his new upcoming book, Fear: Trump in the White House, it appears that Mr. Woodward is trying to capitalize on his journalistic largesse to do it all over again.

To some extent this has had an effect on the flow of political news in Washington. The Associated Press reported Wednesday that this book’s hints are sparking damage control operations in the White house to counter anything and everything Woodward might really have to say in his book:

An incendiary tell-all book by a reporter who helped bring down President Richard Nixon set off a firestorm in the White House on Tuesday, with its descriptions of current and former aides calling President Donald Trump an “idiot” and a “liar,” disparaging his judgment and claiming they plucked papers off his desk to prevent him from withdrawing from a pair of trade agreements.

The book by Washington Post journalist Bob Woodward is the latest to throw the Trump administration into damage-control mode with explosive anecdotes and concerns about the commander in chief. The Associated Press obtained a copy of “Fear: Trump in the White House” on Tuesday, a week before its official release.

Cover art for “Fear: Trump in the White House”, Bob Woodward’s latest book

Trump decried the quotes and stories in the book on Twitter as “frauds, a con on the public,” adding that Defense Secretary Jim Mattis and chief of staff John Kelly had denied uttering quoted criticisms of the president in the book.

And he denied accounts in the book that senior aides snatched sensitive documents off his desk to keep him from making impulsive decisions. He said in an interview with The Daily Caller, “There was nobody taking anything from me.”

Later Tuesday, Trump was back on Twitter denying the book’s claim that he had called Attorney General Jeff Sessions “mentally retarded” and “a dumb southerner.”

Trump insisted he “never used those terms on anyone, including Jeff,” adding that “being a southerner is a GREAT thing.” Sessions has been a target of the president’s wrath since recusing himself from the Russia investigation.

The publication of Woodward’s book has been anticipated for weeks, and current and former White House officials estimate that nearly all their colleagues cooperated with the famed Watergate journalist. The White House, in a statement from press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders, dismissed the book as “nothing more than fabricated stories, many by former disgruntled employees, told to make the President look bad.”

And indeed, this may truly be the case. The last “tell-all” book, Fire and Fury, released since the Trump presidency began teased great sensationalism only to come up virtually dry when the books actually hit the shelves.

We now live in the era where most mainstream media is aligned against President Trump because he is not who was “supposed” to win the White House. He is not Hillary Clinton, nor is he a Democrat. An interesting piece of speculation that has yet to be addressed is what would the press’ treatment of the Donald been had he announced as a Democrat candidate. (He was a Democrat at one time).

The war of the mainstream press against this president is unprecedented in modern times, and perhaps unprecedented in the entire history of the United States. An interesting piece of irony: searching on the phrase “media attacks against Trump unprecedented” gave back a whole first page of the phrase in reverse order: “President Trump’s attacks on the media are unprecedented.”

But why is that? Trump is known for punching back, and for not refusing a fight, but he is not known for starting them.

The games writers play.

Here are some more assertions the book makes, according to teasers and leaks about it, and in are the counter-statements that even the Associated Press had to acknowledge:

The book quotes Kelly as having doubts about Trump’s mental faculties, declaring during one meeting, “We’re in Crazytown.” It also says he called Trump an “idiot,” an account Kelly denied Tuesday.

The book says Trump’s former lawyer in the Russia probe, John Dowd, doubted the president’s ability to avoid perjuring himself should he be interviewed in special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian election interference and potential coordination with Trump’s campaign. Dowd, who stepped down in January, resigned after the mock interview, the book says.

“Don’t testify. It’s either that or an orange jumpsuit,” Dowd is quoted telling the president.

Dowd, in a statement Tuesday, said “no so-called ‘practice session’ or ‘re-enactment’” took place and denied saying Trump was likely to end up in an orange jumpsuit.

Mattis is quoted explaining to Trump why the U.S. maintains troops on the Korean Peninsula to monitor North Korea’s missile activities. “We’re doing this in order to prevent World War III,” Mattis said, according to the book.

The book recounts that Mattis told “close associates that the president acted like — and had the understanding of — ‘a fifth- or sixth-grader.’”

Mattis said in a statement, “The contemptuous words about the President attributed to me in Woodward’s book were never uttered by me or in my presence.”

A Pentagon spokesman, Col. Rob Manning, said Mattis was never interviewed by Woodward.

“Mr. Woodward never discussed or verified the alleged quotes included in his book with Secretary Mattis” or anyone within the Defense Department, Manning said.

Woodward reported that after Syria’s Bashar Assad launched a chemical weapons attack on civilians in April 2017, Trump called Mattis and said he wanted the Syrian leader taken out, saying: “Kill him! Let’s go in.” Mattis assured Trump he would get right on it but then told a senior aide they’d do nothing of the kind, Woodward wrote. National security advisers instead developed options for the airstrike that Trump ultimately ordered.

U.S. Ambassador Nikki Haley denied Tuesday that Trump had ever planned to assassinate Assad. She told reporters at U.N. headquarters that she had been privy to conversations about the Syrian chemical weapons attacks, “and I have not once ever heard the president talk about assassinating Assad.”

She said people should take what is written in books about the president with “a grain of salt.”

Woodward also claims that Gary Cohn, the former director of the National Economic Council, boasted of removing papers from the president’s desk to prevent Trump from signing them into law, including efforts to withdraw from the North American Free Trade Agreement and from a deal with South Korea.

Trump did not speak to Woodward until after the book’s manuscript was completed. The Post released audio of Trump expressing surprise about the book in an August conversation with Woodward and dismay that he did not have an opportunity to contribute. Woodward tells Trump he had contacted multiple officials to attempt to interview Trump and was rebuffed.

“I never spoke to him,” Trump told The Daily Caller. “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.”

This is a midterm election year and the pressure is as high as it has ever been to try to stop the President from implementing his agenda. The torrent of lies and slander can only be expected to worsen as time moves forward.

As for Mr. Woodward, if his allegations are as false as the counter-statements say, it is very sad that such a pivotal figure in journalism has stooped to the level of tabloid style attack writing.


The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of this site. This site does not give financial, investment or medical advice.

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franz kafka
franz kafka
September 8, 2018

What this tells you is that the internal civil war is not over, and that, bad as he is, Trump is probably the ‘good guy’.

Bernstine and Woodward (alias) are Three Letter Agency field agents.
‘Deep Throat’ is always Deep State Three Letter Agency.
This is just Operation Mockingbird at work.

US Govt Just Legalized Operation Mockingbird — FBI Can Now Impersonate the Media

September 8, 2018

Woodward couldn’t even type when the CIA planted him at WaPo. They fed him Deep Throat info to stampede Nixon, who was ignorant of Watergate, into the cover up that got him kicked out. Looks like his old boss (you never really leave the Company) has called again. The truth is irrelevant. Can they stampede another paranoid president into leaving?

franz kafka
franz kafka
September 8, 2018

These two, Woodward and Bernstein were, highly likely, part of the disinformation echo-chamber run by the CIA and called Operation Mockingbird.

Leak on the ISS becomes a matter of controversy

Trump Orders NYTimes To Reveal Op-Ed Source For “National Security” Purposes