In the history of my life, the words I Can Hardly Wait For Bob Woodward’s Book have never slipped between my lips. Until now.
Axios morning email thingie:
President Trump is livid at the betrayal and stunning allegations in Bob Woodward’s forthcoming “Fear,” but limited in his ability to fight back because most of the interviews were caught on hundreds of hours of tape, officials tell Jonathan Swan and me.
- The book, out Tuesday (9/11) from Simon & Schuster, re-creates — verbatim — page after page of private conversations with him.
- The 420-page portrait is all the more damaging because many of the scenes concern foreign policy and national security — truly heavy stuff.
- In one emblematic passage, Woodward writes: “The operations of the Oval Office and White House were less the Art of the Deal and more often the Unraveling of the Deal. The unraveling was often right before your eyes, a Trump rally on continuous loop. There was no way not to look.”
Politico AKA "Tiger Beat on the Potomac" (thanks Charlie Pierce!):
THE PRESIDENT tweeted seven times last night pushing back on Woodward’s retelling, including statements from Sarah Huckabee Sanders and Defense Secretary Jim Mattis refuting sections of the book.
- @realDonaldTrump at 11:01 p.m.: “The already discredited Woodward book, so many lies and phony sources, has me calling Jeff Sessions ‘mentally retarded’ and ‘a dumb southerner.’ I said NEITHER, never used those terms on anyone, including Jeff, and being a southerner is a GREAT thing. He made this up to divide!”
- at 7:18 p.m.: “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?”
- FOR THE RECORD: No, Bob Woodward is not a Democratic operative. He’s a highly respected journalist who has a track record of writing meticulously detailed books about presidents with an uncanny knack for getting behind-the-scenes details.
There was something special about listening to Carl Bernstein analyze Woodward’s bombshells on CNN on Tuesday.
Bernstein’s main point to Anderson Cooper: “Yes, there’s been reporting on this, a good deal of it. But now we have a coherent, indisputable narrative that is absolutely chilling in the following way: The people closest to the president of the United States, in his W.H. and in his administration, are saying that they see their job as protecting the United States FROM the president of the United States. That he is a danger to the republic. That is the text of this book. Every meeting that Bob writes about, that is the subtext. And it’s not just a sentence here or somebody calling somebody an idiot there, it is detail piled upon detail…”
Bernstein also vouched for Woodward’s reporting talent as only Bernstein could do. “This is an irrefutable picture, because of Bob Woodward’s methodology,” he told Brooke Baldwin earlier in the day…
Here’s the essential thing. Since the start of the year, there now have been three best sellers on Comrade Trump’s Administration. All three of them tell the same story. They each confirm what we’ve already ascertain: We have a prznint profoundly unfit for office.
You can say that Wolf’s book was based on him misrepresenting himself, and Omarosa was sneakily recording people without their consent, but Woodward not only has everyone on record (and on recordings), but he has a long track-record and consistent results based upon journalistic standards. And I will add, he’s never been sued:
–> Ari Fleischer: “I’ve been on the receiving end of a Bob Woodward book. There were quotes in it I didn’t like. But never once — never — did I think Woodward made it up. Anonymous sources have looser lips and may take liberties. But Woodward always plays is straight. Someone told it to him.”
–> Paul Begala: “24 years ago, Woodward quoted me in his Clinton book saying all kinds of profane and rude things. Why? Maybe because he’s a Republican. Or maybe because: I. Said. Them.”
It is time to invoke the 25th Amendment, folks. It really is.