The Washington Post got its hand on an advance copy of Bob Woodward’s new book, Rage, and the quotes — many of which were pulled from among 18 on-the-record interviews with Trump — do not reflect well on the President, to say the least. You can read the entire WashPo piece (and I encourage it), but here are some of the choice revelations from the book:
— Trump knew that the Coronavirus was deadly as hell, even as he was downplaying it publicly: “You just breathe the air and that’s how it’s passed. And so that’s a very tricky one. That’s a very delicate one. It’s also more deadly than even your strenuous flu. This is deadly stuff,” he told Woodward in February before later admitting in March, “I wanted to always play it down” to the public.
— Two days after clearing protestors in Lafayette Square with the National Guard so that he could provide a photo opp, Trump called Woodward and said, “We’re going to get ready to send in the military slash National Guard to some of these poor bastards that don’t know what they’re doing, these poor radical lefts.”
— When asked by Woodward if he felt a responsibility to understand “the anger and pain” felt by Black Americans, Trump said, “No. You really drank the Kool-Aid, didn’t you? Just listen to you. Wow. No, I don’t feel that at all.” He repeated again that he has done more for Black people than any other President, and told Woodward that they did not reciprocate. “And, honestly, I’m not feeling any love,” he said.
— He also said that he preferred to refer to President Obama as “Barack Hussein,” but wouldn’t do so in Obama’s presence “to be very nice … I don’t think Obama’s smart. I think he’s highly overrated. And I don’t think he’s a great speaker.”
— He also said that North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un thought Obama was “an asshole,” which stands in contrast to how Kim Jong Un thought of Trump. Woodward was able to read some of the letters that Kim Jong Un sent Trump, and they were something else. Kim Jong Un told Trump that he wanted “another historic meeting between myself and Your Excellency reminiscent of a scene from a fantasy film” and spoke of a “deep and special friendship between us [that] will work as a magical force.”
In another letter, Kim wrote to Trump, “I feel pleased to have formed good ties with such a powerful and preeminent statesman as Your Excellency.” And in yet another, Kim reflected on “that moment of history when I firmly held Your Excellency’s hand at the beautiful and sacred location as the whole world watched with great interest and hope to relive the honor of that day.”
Trump said that Kim Jong Un often confided in him, at one point telling Trump how he killed his uncle. Nevertheless, Trump found him “far beyond smart.” Trump also did not deny forging strong relationships with dictators, including Turkey’s President Erdogan. “It’s funny, the relationships I have, the tougher and meaner they are, the better I get along with them. You know? Explain that to me someday, okay?”
— Trump also spoke with Woodward about a secret new weapons system America has, much to the dismay of the U.S. military.
— Trump’s former Defense Secretary, General Jim Mattis, also once told the former DNI, Dan Coats, that “There may come a time when we have to take collective action” since Trump is “dangerous. He’s unfit,” He added that “The president has no moral compass.”
— Dan Coats and his wife, Marsha, meanwhile, once had dinner at the White House with Trump and Pence. “I just looked at him, like, how are you stomaching this?” Marsha Coats told Woodward. “I just looked at him like, this is horrible. I mean, we made eye contact. I think he understood. And he just whispered in my ear, ‘Stay the course.’”
— Especially damning in light of his comment about troops being “suckers” and “losers,” Trump also once said to White House trade advisor Peter Navarro, “Not to mention my fucking generals are a bunch of pussies. They care more about their alliances than they do about trade deals.”
— According to an excerpt revealed at Axios, Dan Coats also had “deep suspicions” that Russian President Vladimir Putin “had something” on President Trump, seeing “no other explanation” for the president’s behavior.”
— Anthony Fauci does not have kind things to say about the President, either. “His attention span is like a minus number,” Fauci said. “His sole purpose is to get reelected.” Fauci also called Trump “rudderless.”
— While the pandemic was raging over the summer, Jared Kusher suggested of Trump, “The goal is to get his head from governing to campaigning.”
— Lindsey Graham tried to get George W. Bush to talk to the President about vaccine efforts, but George W. Bush declined, concerned that Trump would twist his words (he would have).
— Finally, in their last interview together, Trump told Woodward, “The virus has nothing to do with me. It’s not my fault.”
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