“Fear” causes havoc in Washington
By: Mac Williams
Bob Woodward is known for his time at the Washington Post in the early 1970’s when he and fellow reporter Carl Bernstein investigated the Watergate break in and eventually brought down President Richard Nixon. The award winning journalist has written several books covering numerous presidents from Richard Nixon to Barrack Obama. In every instance, Woodward provides a unique look into the American presidency. This has never been truer than Woodward’s latest book “Fear”, which chronicles what life is like working in and around the Trump presidency.
The book has caused considerable chaos in Washington as senior Trump administration officials scramble to deal with the fallout from certain portions of the book. According USA Today reporter John Bacon, the book details conversations with numerous administration officials who either disparage the president, or reveal events that call into question the president’s fitness for office.
According to the book, White House Chief of Staff John Kelly referred to President Trump as “unhinged” and an “idiot”. Additionally, Kelly is quoted as saying, “It’s pointless to try to convince him of anything. He’s gone off the rails. We’re in Crazytown. I don’t even know why any of us are here. This is the worst job I’ve ever had.”
According to Robert Donachie of the Washington Examiner, a statement released by Kelly on September 4, 2018 categorically denied Woodward’s reporting that he ever disparaged the president.
“The idea I ever called the President an idiot is not true, as I stated back in May and still firmly stand behind: I spend more time with the President than anyone else, and we have an incredibly candid and strong relationship. He always knows where I stand, and he and I both know this story is total BS,” said Kelly.
Woodward cites as his sources hundreds of hours of interviews and discussions with senior Trump administration officials. Aside from the alleged criticism from the chief of staff, perhaps the most damning charge in Woodward’s book deals with the president’s fitness for office.
According to Bob Fredericks of the New York Post, the book claims several officials including then-economic advisor Gary Cohn stole papers off Trump’s desk to prevent him from withdrawing from a trade agreement with key ally South Korea and the North Atlantic Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). According to Fredericks, the book then details that Trump didn’t even notice that the papers were missing when he returned to his desk.
Much like John Kelly, Cohn issued a statement denying the allegations in Woodward’s book. According to the Washington Post, Woodward’s account of the Trump White House has already sold more than 750,000 copies just one day after its release on Sept.11.
As the administration scrambles to refute the claims made in Woodward’s book the American people are now faced with a credibility test. Now a country asks itself, who is more believable, Woodward or Trump?