Bob Woodward’s new book, “Fear,” a 448-page tome about the Trump White House, is based on hundreds of hours of reporting with current and former Trump officials. They spoke to Woodward — an associate editor at the Washington Post — as long as he agreed to keep their names out of the book. The New York Times reports that Reince Priebus, Trump’s former chief of staff, Gary Cohn, Trump’s former chief economic adviser, and Rob Porter, Trump’s former staff secretary seem to have been the main sources for the book.
Fear details the troubled, combative, and often paranoid relationship between Trump and his most senior staff. The book depicts an atmosphere full of, well, fear, in which Trump’s advisers often hesitated to share information with the president or, in some cases, actively plotted to keep key documents out of the Trump’s hands because they did not trust him.
‘Fear’ Will Be Published on September 11 and Is Available for Pre-Order Now
The reviews of “Fear” are already out, but the book won’t be published until next week. It’s due to appear on September 11. (Media wrote the reviews based on copies they “obtained” ahead of publication.) You can pre-order “Fear” from Amazon, which is selling the hardcover for $30.00. A CD of the book is also available for $39.99, and the audio book is available on Audible.
Woodward Describes Trump as ‘Overwrought, Mercurial, and Unpredictable
Woodward paints of picture of Trump as a slightly bratty, out-of-touch leader, whose aides distrust him and who is a victim of his own mood swings. Cohn and Jim Mattis reportedly fretted about Trump’s total lack of interest in international diplomacy and in the value of military and economic partnerships with other countries.
But more broadly, what emerges in Woodward’s book is the sense of constant anxiety among White House staffers and the feeling that the president had to be treated with kid globes. Woodward writes,
“The reality was that the United States in 2017 was tethered to the words and actions of an emotionally overwrought, mercurial and unpredictable leader. Members of his staff had joined to purposefully block some of what they believed were the president’s most dangerous impulses. It was a nervous breakdown of the executive power of the most powerful country in the world.”
The White House Says ‘Fear’ Is Just a Collection of ‘Fabricated Stories’
Perhaps unsurprisingly, many of the Trump aides quoted in “Fear” have come forward to deny that they ever said the things attributed to them in the book. For example — Woodward says that White House Chief of Staff called Trump “unhinged” and said the president was “an idiot.”
“He’s an idiot. It’s pointless to try to convince him of anything. He’s gone off the rails. We’re in crazytown,” the book quotes Kelly as saying at one point. Kelly has denied ever making those statements.
And Defense Secretary James Mattis said — according to Woodward — that Trump only understood as much as “a fifth or sixth grader.” Mattis has absolutely denied saying that and claimed that the quotes are “a product of someone’s rich imagination.”
The White House press secretary, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, 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.”