“The virus has nothing to do with me. It’s not my fault. It’s — China let the damn virus out.”
“I wanted to always play it down. I still like playing it down, because I don’t want to create a panic.”
The above are direct quotations from Donald J. Trump, as told to two-time Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative journalist and author Bob Woodward in one of the 18 interviews the two had as Woodward prepared for his latest book, RAGE, which will be released next Tuesday.
As of this writing, 194,414 human beings in the United States have died … and yet, it has “nothing to do with …” Donald Trump, the ‘man’ who 330 million people expect to act in their best interests, the best interests of the nation.
CNN has obtained a preview copy of Woodward’s book, and also some of the tapes from his interviews with Trump, and I urge you to read the full article, but meanwhile here are a few excerpts …
By March 19, when Trump told Woodward he was purposely downplaying the dangers to avoid creating a panic, he also acknowledged the threat to young people. “Just today and yesterday, some startling facts came out. It’s not just old, older. Young people too, plenty of young people,” Trump said.
Publicly, however, Trump has continued to insist just the opposite, saying as recently as August 5 that children were “almost immune.”
Even into April, when the US became the country with the most confirmed cases in the world, Trump’s public statements contradicted his acknowledgements to Woodward. At an April 3 coronavirus task force briefing, Trump was still downplaying the virus and stating that it would go away. “I said it’s going away and it is going away,” he said. Yet two days later on April 5, Trump again told Woodward, “It’s a horrible thing. It’s unbelievable,” and on April 13, he said, “It’s so easily transmissible, you wouldn’t even believe it.”
Trump has come under fire in recent days for reportedly making disparaging remarks about US military personnel and veterans. Woodward’s book includes an anecdote where an aide to Mattis heard Trump say in a meeting, “my f—ing generals are a bunch of pussies” because they cared more about alliances than trade deals. Mattis asked the aide to document the comment in an email to him. And Trump himself criticized military officials to Woodward over their view that alliances with NATO and South Korea are the best bargain the US makes. “I wouldn’t say they were stupid, because I would never say that about our military people,” Trump said. “But if they said that, they — whoever said that was stupid. It’s a horrible bargain … they make so much money. Costs us $10 billion. We’re suckers.”
Trump boasted to Woodward about a new secret weapons system. “I have built a nuclear — a weapons system that nobody’s ever had in this country before,” Trump said. Woodward says other sources confirmed the information, without providing further details, but expressed surprise that Trump disclosed it.
Trump’s son-in-law and senior White House adviser Jared Kushner also weighs in with some unusual literary insights about his father-in-law. Kushner is quoted as saying that four texts are key to understanding Trump, including “Alice in Wonderland.” Kushner paraphrased the Cheshire Cat: “If you don’t know where you’re going, any path will get you there.”
Woodward discussed the Black Lives Matter protests and suggested to the President that people like the two of them — “White, privileged” — need to work to understand the anger and pain that Black people feel in the US. “You really drank the Kool-Aid, didn’t you? Just listen to you,” Trump responded, repeating his outrageous talking point that he’s done more for the Black community than any president besides Abraham Lincoln.
These are but a few of the jaw-dropping, and yet I suppose not surprising, highlights of the article, which has now been picked up by other news outlets, even Fox. Fox host Howard Kurtz said three days prior that …
“As a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist who has been writing books about presidents since Richard Nixon, he can’t simply be dismissed as a third-rate hack or someone with an ax to grind. Woodward has hundreds of hours of taped interviews with White House and other sources for “Fear,” along with internal documents.
Senior officials have rushed out denials of disparaging comments attributed to them. And Trump tweeted:
“The Woodward book has already been refuted and discredited by General [Secretary of Defense] James Mattis and General [Chief of Staff] John Kelly,” he wrote on Twitter. “Their quotes were made up frauds, a con on the public. Likewise other stories and quotes. Woodward is a Dem operative? Notice timing?”
Sorry, dismissing Bob Woodward as a possible Democratic operative simply doesn’t wash. He did a tough book on the Clinton White House and a revealing look at the Obama White House handling of military conflicts.
Another tweet – “Don’t know why Washington politicians don’t change libel laws?” — reflects the president’s larger frustration with the press. Under Supreme Court precedent, a public figure must prove that a journalist’s work is not only false but that he acted with malice or reckless disregard for whether or not it was true. How exactly would the president change that?”
We the People of this nation have given far too much power to one ‘man’ whose only concern is money and his own welfare. When I first read the CNN article, then a few others, my jaw dropped to the floor, but after I thought about it all for a few minutes, I realized we shouldn’t really be surprised … everything Trump has done has given us proof that he cares for nobody and nothing but himself. No other president in the history of this nation has done as much harm to the people he was supposed to represent, the people who gave him the power of the office of presidency. Let us remember in eight short weeks, that he has horribly abused that power and that he is undeserving of the title and the office. PLEASE, my friends, let us remember that … our lives depend on it.