Bob Woodward Rolls Out His Book On The Trump Presidency So Far. It’s At The Same Time Both Shocking And Completely Unsurprising…
The White House press office, various Cabinet Members, and Trump (who threw in a dose of conspiracy theory), were quick to rebut accusations in Woodward’s book, called “Fear”, including that the President’s Chief of Staff called the President an “idiot” and the Secretary of Defense said he acts like a “5th or 6th grader.” Trump used those denials as validation of his assertion that he did not call Attorney General Jeff Sessions “mentally retarded” or a “dumb Southerner”.
And Trump this morning using the book to again call for changes to libel laws, saying it is “literally the exact opposite of fact.”
And there really wouldn’t be much else for us to say, and we probably wouldn’t have said anything else, except for a curious phone call from the President to Woodward that the Washington Post also released. Curious both because of the content of the call, and the fact that Woodward felt the need to release it.
Recordings now have emerged as the last and maybe only line of defense against Trump’s lies. And even then they don’t always work: sometimes the President still seems to prevail, even when someone’s got him on tape saying the exact opposite of what he’s saying he said, or saying something he says he didn’t say.
The phone call in question occurred after Woodward had completed his book.
Trump did not sit down with Woodward for the book, and the release of the conversation seems to be an effort to get ahead of an anticipated attack by the President contending Woodward was out to do a hatchet job from the get-go and never attempted to contact him.
Woodward makes it very clear he tried repeatedly to set up a one-on-one with the President, and had several contacts and meetings with senior White House personnel that went nowhere.
The Washington Post reports Trump is apparently now furious that no one told him about the interview request from Woodward, but we’re not so sure they’re right about that. Because–even though we usually try to keep away from this type of speculation–Trump has repeatedly shown he likes to shirk responsibility for stuff by denying he ever knew about it in the first place. (Or denying he ever really knew any person who turns out to be troublesome.) And during the phone call itself, when Woodward asserts he asked Republican Senator Lindsay Graham–a sometime golf buddy of Trump’s–to pass along an interview request, the President suddenly remembers that, but then says Graham mentioned it to him “quickly, not like, you know…” and then snaps back into denying anyone told him. Does he really believe people will fall for this feint? Or is he just toying with them?
You can, and should–if you haven’t already–listen to audio of that unique and odd phone call here or by clicking on the photo below:
There are a bunch of other very telling moments:
- Woodward comes very close to daring Trump to challenge him: making it very clear to the President that he recorded “hundreds of hours” of interviews for the book (although a lot of it is attributed to unnamed sources).
- And even when talking to a Pulitzer Prize winning reporter who’s covered Washington for generations, Trump seemingly can’t stray very far from the same shtick he returns to at his rallies time and time again: “If the other group had won…I think you’d have a GDP of less than zero”.
- And while he asserts during the phone call that Woodward’s always “been fair” to him, he refutes Woodward’s statement that the book is “going to be accurate, I promise.” Because “accurate is that nobody’s ever done a better job than I’m doing as President.” He does not say this with a chuckle.
Britain Charges Two Men In Nerve Gas Attack, And Guess What? They Are Both Russians, Now Back In Russia
The attack, which occurred in Salisbury, in England, about 6 months ago, was aimed at former Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter, Yulia.
There’s no extradition treaty between Russia and the U.K. so prosecutors won’t pursue the two suspects, who they’ve named.
According to The Week, the two apparently carried the nerve agent in a perfume bottle. And police may have found this out when a couple of bystanders later found that bottle and became ill. One of them died.
Quick Update To Our Story: “Whoever Is Running Interference For Judge Kavanaugh Is Doing A Damn Fine Job“
Because of course that would be former Arizona Senator Jon Kyl. Little did we know when we wrote the piece yesterday that Kyl would be named to temporarily fill the late John McCain’s seat in the Senate by that state’s Republican Governor. So if you were holding out a longshot hope that a “maverick type” might be appointed who maybe just maybe might flip on Kavanaugh, no such luck. Instead, looks like Kyl will now get to vote to confirm him.
In a news conference announcing the move, Kyl only committed to staying in the position until the end of the current session, so that he could “make sure that the business that is currently ongoing is taken care of.” Sounds kinda like he has something specific in mind…Here’s that clip:
Kyl, BTW, is also tied closely to the Koch Brothers, who’ve been putting big dollars behind the effort to confirm Kavanaugh.