Bob Woodward’s voice is well known in Washington, and former President Trump’s voice is well known around the world.But in Woodward’s new audiobook, we hear both in a new way. playing card tape.
Woodward has released transcripts and raw audio of numerous interviews he gave with Trump in 2019 and 2020. But Trump said they belonged to him and he compensated for their sale. This is because it says that it is necessary to be
The interview was arranged to inform Woodward’s second book on President Trump. anger, It appeared just before Trump lost his bid for re-election. The president had not cooperated with the reporter’s previous Trump book. fear, A very important study published in 2018.
The series, which initially took place in the Oval Office, continued for months with Trump making frequent, out-of-the-box calls to Woodward at home and on his cell phone.
In these hours of taped Trump voices, you can hear him extolling him as the “great historian” and “the great Bob Woodward” and striving for Woodward’s endorsement. increase. However, these interviews often devolve into disagreements and even arguments.
One topic will dominate the discussion. It’s the Covid virus that came to rule the election year. In February 2020, Trump told Woodward that while everything was going well in America, “we’re going back a little bit with the Chinese virus right now,” and that it would “go away in a few months with the heat.”
Then, while Woodward lays out all the evidence to the contrary, Trump sticks tenaciously to his “I got it under control” line.
Mr Trump has repeatedly told Mr Woodward that he was the only one who urged the United States to ban travel from China in early 2020.
Woodward returns with notes from nearly everyone else in the room. All say that at least four or five people (including Dr. Anthony Fauci, the government’s chief epidemiologist) called for the same shutdown at the same meeting. Trump has repeatedly denied this, claiming he’s “alone,” and regularly bringing it up as if Woodward had never heard of it.
On March 19, Trump said he would “never be credited with the great things” he was doing, adding, “I didn’t want people to panic, so they knew how terribly deadly Covid was. I don’t want to,” he added.
Throughout the recording, Woodward’s voice can be heard asking questions. He also records the commentary that appears in the transcript, so you can hear him checking and correcting the presidential fat.
Trump seems fully aware that Woodward is more than just a reporter. He could have been briefed on a reporter’s career built on a book about the president. all men of the president, He detailed his contribution to the downfall of Richard Nixon nearly half a century ago.
Since then, the president has been talking to Woodward and telling them their side of the story. washington post Journalists relentlessly interview every other key figure in each administration for something innocent and informal.
But it may have surprised Trump when Woodward returned to criticizing the Covid response with such enthusiasm. In particular, in an April 5, 2020 interview, Trump shared a compiled list of “16 things” he thinks will be necessary to beat the virus. As the call ends, Woodward’s wife, journalist Elsa Walsh, can be heard wondering if she should speak to the president that way.
Listening to these tapes now, the topic is as familiar as Trump’s raspy baritone (sometimes belligerent and on the verge of yelling). In effect, Trump has stuck to an agenda ranging from his grievances to his idea of his greatest hits. , and his “extremely unfair” treatment by federal agencies, also known as the “Deep State” and “The Swamp.”
We also hear an unrepentant Trump bragging about how he kept Congress from imposing sanctions on Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman over the murder of Saudi columnist Jamal Khashoggi. Washington Post He was sharply critical of the prince. ‘I saved his butt,’ says Trump, ‘and it wasn’t easy’
Trump’s rhetoric is steeped in the victimhood that he still endures in his message about “Truth Social” since he emerged as a candidate in 2015. The main difference is that his frequent profanity is left intact here.
Among the accomplishments he wants Woodward to highlight are the judicial appointments he made from a list compiled by the Federalist Society and facilitated by then Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. The number increased with each interview, eventually Trump claiming it was 280, and Woodward added a note stating that it was ultimately still an impressive 234.
But Trump also credits a strong pre-coronavirus economy and record stock market performance, and if his rival Hillary Clinton won the presidency in 2016, North Korea’s He argues that getting out of a nuclear war with North Korea was inevitable.
Trump has spent considerable time seeking Woodward’s approval for a “breakthrough” with North Korea’s young and curious dictator Kim Jong-un. He is fascinated by the ways in which the dictatorship’s rivals were eliminated, including by decapitation. Trump offers to share Kim’s letters (classified information) with Woodward, but asks him not to say how he obtained them.
Trump is also leaning into his resentment of the “Russian hoax” and the FBI’s alleged plot to catch him, as well as his initial impeachment. (The latter followed a delay in military aid to Ukraine when it was calling for Ukraine to launch or announce an investigation into Joe Biden and his son Hunter.)
Perhaps the most repeated of several Trump mantras is “I’ve done more than any other president in less than three years” (interviews and three years as the month progresses). This refrain is repeated regularly, sometimes several times in one conversation.
It has also spread in surprising directions.”I have done more for black people than any president other than the late Prime Minister Abe.” Speaking of Lyndon Johnson, who created the Society program, Trump counters, “No, I did more.”
Occasionally, voices other than the two principals can be heard. Woodward interviews Robert O’Brien, who was Trump’s National Security Advisor, and Matthew Pottinger, O’Brien’s deputy. Both confirm that they warned Trump that a virus from China would be the “greatest national security threat he faces as president.”
We also hear briefly from First Lady Melania Trump and her daughter Ivanka and husband Jared Kushner. In the background, you can also hear South Carolina Republican Senator Lindsey Graham, who appeared while Trump was talking to Woodward. Trump refers to senators as “Lins.”
People invariably ask me about Woodward’s motivation for this audiobook. On one level, he’s simply repeating a claim he made a year ago regarding Trump’s suitability for office. (This is what NPR and other voice-based communicators have done over the years.)
There is no doubt that listening to Trump has an impact that reading alone cannot match. Woodward says in the epilogue, “The real playing cards… making the ears pound in ways the printed page can’t catch.”
It’s also possible that Woodward is responding here to critics who have denounced his work and that of other Trump chroniclers. At least some of the reporters who have written books about Trump have been accused of withholding newsworthy nuggets and keeping them secret and fresh for their books. It shows in its own way how difficult it is to do things at the same time.
He also asks Trump to reflect on his place in history and the portents of his presidency. Trying to get Trump to comment on stuff. “It was sunset on the history clock,” Tuchman wrote.
Woodward then adds:
Mr Trump has responded by recognizing the weaknesses of both major parties when he was elected, and praising his own amazing “instincts” that used them to get himself elected. Woodward calls this “grabbing the clock of history.” He triumphantly quips about the idea of Trump literally bouncing up and down on his chair, saying, “Yes, we’ll do it again in 2020.”
In a Morning Edition interview with NPR’s Steve Inskeep, which airs Oct. 24, Woodward talks about how “the power of audio” brings something disturbing about Trump. “His voice is so preoccupied with himself and how he feels and his conclusions.”
Woodward said Trump was “not happy with democracy” and later added that Trump “doesn’t understand democracy”. i will be back. This echoes his claim at his 2016 party convention that “only I can fix it”.
“I’m so off track I don’t know what to do,” Woodward told Inskeep. “It’s almost inexplicable. So what do you do as a reporter? You put everything out there and let people decide.”