Bob Woodward recorded a conversation with President Donald Trump about Woodward’s upcoming book Fear: Trump in the White House, back on August 14, 2018. Woodward’s book is making headlines after Trump bashed it on Twitter in a series of several tweets over the last 36 hours.
Fear is based on hundreds of hours of reporting with current and former Trump officials, who spoke to Woodward about Trump, as long as he agreed to keep their names out of the book.
Trump wasn’t pleased with the allegations against him and posted no less than 10 tweets, calling Woodward’s book “total fiction” filled with “lies and phony sources,” and posting several quotes from people in his administration about Woodward’s book.
“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 GREATt hing. He made this up to divide!” he wrote in one tweet.
Another tweet reads: “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?”
Before all of the controversy surrounding the book surfaced, Trump had reached out to Woodward last month to ask why Woodward had never contacted Trump about the book. Woodward told Trump he had repeatedly tried to reach out to him through official and unofficial channels and had been rebuffed time and time again. He also informed the president that the book was already written (set to be released on September 11) and that Trump was too late to make any statements.
Woodward informed Trump that he was recording the call, to which Trump agreed to the recording, and the Washington Post released the full transcript, which you can read here. The exchange was a typical Trump conversation, with the president randomly talking about NATO, how nobody has ever done a better job at being president of the United States than he has, and how he doesn’t mind that another bad book about him is being released. Trump also repeatedly tells Woodward that he didn’t know anything about the book and that nobody told him Woodward was trying to reach him.
You can listen to the full conversation below:
Several of Trump’s aids came to his defense, agreeing that the book was nothing but lies from discredited sources. Trump posted several quotes from different people from his administration on Twitter, including a quote from White House press secretary, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, who called Fear a collection of “fabricated stories.”
“This book is nothing more than fabricated stories, many by former disgruntled employees, told to make the President look bad,” Sanders said. “While it is not always pretty, and rare that the press actually covers it, President Trump has broken through the bureaucratic process to deliver unprecedented successes for the American people. Sometimes it is unconventional, but he always gets results.”