Journalist, Bob Woodward, has become a chronicler of presidencies. During the Bush and Obama eras, he authored books with catchy titles like, “State of Denial” and, “Obama’s Wars,” but his text on the Trump presidency sounds even bolder — titled simply, “Fear: Trump in the White House.”
Woodward writes that President Donald Trump’s closest aides, including Chief of Staff John Kelly and Defense Secretary James Mattis, privately insulted the president, with Mattis saying Trump has the smarts of “a fifth or sixth grader.” During a meeting, Kelly allegedly told the gathered staffers, “He’s an idiot. It’s pointless to try to convince him of anything.” Later, he added, “This is the worst job I’ve ever had.”
Additionally, Woodward writes that Trump’s aides regularly tried to trick or at least mislead the president, stealing letters from his desk and re-routing his attention. Two of the staffers reported to have engaged in the sneak tactics are Rob Porter and Gary Cohn — both of them have since left the White House.
After the book was finished, Trump called Woodward in early August to complain that he wasn’t able to speak to him about the book — claiming that he never got the request and even putting Kellyanne Conway on the line to try to explain. In what appears to be some sort of last-ditch damage control effort, the president bragged about the state of the country for a few minutes before saying, “So I have another bad book coming out.”
While it’s likely to be more in-depth, Woodward’s reporting rings true to most of the inside reports we’ve seen from the Trump White House. There have been scores of reports that the president is obsessed with the Russian probe — even the president’s own tweets read like scattered hate-mail to Robert Mueller. That narrative is echoed in “Fear.” The Washington Post reports that sometimes the president’s “paranoia” about the Russian probe “paralyzes the West Wing for entire days.”
Unlike most of the other Trump critics who have cashed in on book deals, like Omarosa Manigault-Newman and Michael Wolff, Woodward is a pillar of credibility. He took down former President Richard Nixon and there are multiple Pulitzer Prizes with his name on them.