Bob Woodward’s Latest Book Meant to be Hit On Trump May Actually Make Trump Look Good
The Washington Post published a preview of Post reporter Bob Woodward’s new book on the Trump presidency, Fear, that, contrary to the establishment view makes President Trump look good.
Woodward paints a portrayal of the Trump White House as having a “nervous breakdown” and an “administrative coup d’etat”. What comes across is what Trump supporters already know about Trump: He relies on his instincts, he is learning as he goes and has been beset by disloyal operatives determined to preserve the ways of Washington, D.C., and prevent him from ‘draining the swamp.’ Others come off as utterly incapable of understanding how Trump thinks and operates. That’s not to say Trump is perfect and beyond criticism or doubt, but that how he is portrayed in the book is from the perspective of those who don’t get him.
Most telling is when Woodward writes about Trump’s foreign policy. He scares the Pentagon with a request for plans for a preemptive strike on North Korea, rails about taking out Syria’s dictator Bashar al-Assad and his regime following a chemical weapons attack and he dresses down generals over their failure to secure Afghanistan after nearly two decades of war there.
“Woodward recounts repeated episodes of anxiety inside the government over Trump’s handling of the North Korean nuclear threat. One month into his presidency, Trump asked Dunford for a plan for a preemptive military strike on North Korea, which rattled the combat veteran.”…
“After Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad launched a chemical attack on civilians in April 2017, Trump called Mattis and said he wanted to assassinate the dictator. “Let’s fucking kill him! Let’s go in. Let’s kill the fucking lot of them,” Trump said, according to Woodward. (Note, the Post published the profanity in full.)
Mattis told the president that he would get right on it. But after hanging up the phone, he told a senior aide: “We’re not going to do any of that. We’re going to be much more measured.” The national security team developed options for the more conventional airstrike that Trump ultimately ordered.”…
“The book also details Trump’s impatience with the war in Afghanistan, which had become America’s longest conflict. At a July 2017 National Security Council meeting, Trump dressed down his generals and other advisers for 25 minutes, complaining that the United States was losing, according to Woodward.
“The soldiers on the ground could run things much better than you,” Trump told them. “They could do a much better job. I don’t know what the hell we’re doing.” He went on to ask, “How many more deaths? How many more lost limbs? How much longer are we going to be there?”
The book also claims Trump’s lawyer John Dowd trashed Trump in a meeting with Special Counsel Robert Mueller.
John Dowd was convinced that President Trump would commit perjury if he talked to special counsel Robert S. Mueller III. So, on Jan. 27, the president’s then-personal attorney staged a practice session to try to make his point.
In the White House residence, Dowd peppered Trump with questions about the Russia investigation, provoking stumbles, contradictions and lies until the president eventually lost his cool.
“This thing’s a goddamn hoax,” Trump erupted at the start of a 30-minute rant that finished with him saying, “I don’t really want to testify.”…
The book vividly recounts the ongoing debate between Trump and his lawyers about whether the president would sit for an interview with Mueller. On March 5, Dowd and Trump attorney Jay Sekulow met in Mueller’s office with the special counsel and his deputy, James Quarles, where Dowd and Sekulow reenacted Trump’s January practice session.
Dowd then explained to Mueller and Quarles why he was trying to keep the president from testifying: “I’m not going to sit there and let him look like an idiot. And you publish that transcript, because everything leaks in Washington, and the guys overseas are going to say, ‘I told you he was an idiot. I told you he was a goddamn dumbbell. What are we dealing with this idiot for?’ ”
“John, I understand,” Mueller replied, according to Woodward”
What is missing, of course, from the Post report on Woodward’s book is any mention of Trump’s successes, from the growing economy, tax cuts, deregulation, record low unemployment among minorities, the crushing of the ISIS caliphate, getting North Korea to pause nuclear weapons and missile testing, the ongoing trade deal renegotiations and the record pace of judicial appointees confirmed are among many successes that have helped put Trump on par with President Barack Obama’s poll approval at the the same time in his presidency.