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Woodward Describes Trump: 'Don't Bother Me With Facts, I Have Opinions'

Trump tells aides he's had his opinions for 30 years, and he's not going to change them.
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Scarborough hosted an entire hour with Bob Woodward this morning, and he pressed him on how Trump differs from the other presidents he's covered.

"I think the key in examining Trump is actually what will he do when people present him with facts. For instance, it sounds a little esoteric, but the World Trade Organization, which the United States is a member of, very important, allows us to file complaints of unfair trade practices," Woodward said.

"And there's a meeting in the Oval Office and the president says, well, the World Trade Organization is the worst organization ever. We lose all of our cases. And they present data and he says, 'No, that's not true.' And the people are saying, look, call the U.S. trade representative, your guy, and you will confirm this. 'I don't want to hear. I don't want to call him. I don't want to deal with it.' And at some point, he gets literally where the aides ask him, 'Where did you get these ideas?' and he will say, 'Well, I've had them for 30 years. They're right and if you disagree, you're wrong.' "

"So have you -- do you hear from -- when you interviewed all of the people that, the staff members and acquaintanceships and people close to his orbit, any concern about Donald Trump's well being mentally, or did they just believe that he just -- he's got a deficient personality that can't handle the truth?" Scarborough said.

"Happily, I'm not a psychiatrist and I don't dig into that. What matters to people is the performance as president. And when you dig into this and excavate it, again, you find people are worried about the performance, the inability to grow, the inability to listen, the inability to change his mind," Woodward said.

"And so you have a situation -- I make this point, but I think a real ardent Trump supporter would go through this and say, 'Gee, maybe I like Trump and some of the things, but this is not the way to manage the government."


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"I know you're not a psychiatrist, I'm just curious if anybody expressed concern to you while you were interviewing them that he may not have the mental capabilities to be president of the United States," Scarborough said.

"Well, I demonstrate scene after scene how he deals with reality and data. And in the course of it, I mean, in one national security council meeting, he is so worked up about how much money we are spending in South Korea or in Europe, and he thinks we're being cheated. Finally, Secretary of Defense Mattis, when Trump is, 'You know, why are we doing this? What do we get out of it?' Mattis says, 'We're trying to prevent World War III.' Mattis at this point is so frustrated, he has to communicate and tell the president -- and this is a year into office, this is not the first week, literally has to tell him we're trying to prevent World War III. Can you imagine this, the secretaries of defense we've had, say Bob Gates, having to tell George W. Bush or Barack Obama that actually, our job is to prevent World War III. They knew that. that's the core, probably the number one responsibility of the president."

In other words, if we don't take both houses of Congress this time, the ship of state has no one at the wheel and we're headed toward the iceberg.

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