Donald Trump has been worried about Bob Woodward’s new book, with the chilling name, Fear. The award-winning reporter, who has written eight books on individual presidents, interviewed people for hundreds of hours on “deep background.” The result explained exactly why Woodward chose that fitting title.
Former chief of staff, Reince Priebus called Trump’s people not rivals but “natural predators,” Woodward wrote in Fear, according to The Washington Post, which received an advance copy:
‘When you put a snake and a rat and a falcon and a rabbit and a shark and a seal in a zoo without walls, things start getting nasty and bloody.’
Woodward said that Trump in the White House was “an administrative coup d’etat” and an Executive Branch “nervous breakdown.” In his book, the reporter gave example after example of what he meant.
White House Chief of Staff John F. Kelly has been pushed beyond frustration, calling Trump “unhinged:”
‘He’s an idiot. 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.’
The president’s raging rants were ever present about Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into the Russian attack on the 2016 presidential election and possible Trump campaign conspiracy:
‘This thing’s a goddamn hoax. I don’t really want to testify.’
When Trump called Egyptian President Abdel Fatah al-Sissi, the Egyptian said:
‘Donald, I’m worried about this investigation. Are you going to be around?’
Trump told his then-attorney in the Mueller investigation, John Dowd it was “like a kick in the nuts.” Dowd and Trump’s other then-attorney Jay Sekulow, went to a meeting with Mueller. Dowd said:
‘I’m not going to sit there and let him look like an idiot. And you publish that transcript, because everything leaks in Washington, and the guys overseas are going to say, ‘I told you he was an idiot. I told you he was a goddamn dumbbell. What are we dealing with this idiot for?’ ‘
Yet, Trump was set on testifying. Dowd told him:
‘Don’t testify. It’s either that or an orange jumpsuit.’
‘I’ll be a real good witness.’
‘You are not a good witness. Mr. President, I’m afraid I just can’t help you.’
The attorney resigned the next day.
Then-staff secretary Rob Porter said:
‘It felt like we were walking along the edge of the cliff perpetually. Other times, we would fall over the edge, and an action would be taken.’
Trump told Porter he wanted out of NAFTA:
‘Why aren’t we getting this done? Do your job. It’s tap, tap, tap. You’re just tapping me along. I want to do this.’
The president asked Porter to write a withdrawal letter from NAFTA. He drafted the NAFTA notification letter, but consulted Gary Cohn, the president’s former top economic adviser who told him:
‘I can stop this. I’ll just take the paper off his desk.’
Cohn considered Trump “a professional liar” and threatened to quit after POTUS’ response to the Charlottesville white supremacist rally, where one of the supremacists ran down and killed a woman who was peacefully protesting. Trump said “both sides” were at fault.
After condemning the neo-Nazis and white supremacists, the president told his aides:
‘That was the biggest fucking mistake I’ve made (and the) worst speech I’ve ever given.’
Kelly told Cohn:
‘I would have taken that resignation letter and shoved it up his ass six different times.’
Another time, Cohn just “stole a letter off Trump’s desk” to keep POTUS from leaving a South Korea trade agreement, but the president never noticed.
Trump’s administration were perplexed about how little he knew about how the U.S. government works and that he did not want to know.
‘This was no longer a presidency. This is no longer a White House. This is a man being who he is.
When Trump called North Korea’s dictator Kim Jong Un “Little Rocket Man” during his United Nations (UN) speech, his aides were worried. Trump told Porter:
This is all about leader versus leader. Man versus man. Me versus Kim.’
The president wondered why the U.S. was wasting money on the nation’s North Korean missile defense system and our military presence on the line between North Korea and South Korea.
Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said:
‘We’re doing this in order to prevent World War III.’
Woodward reported that after POTUS left:
‘Mattis was particularly exasperated and alarmed, telling close associates that the president acted like — and had the understanding of — “a fifth- or sixth-grader.”‘
Mattis told friends:
‘Secretaries of defense don’t always get to choose the president they work for.’
At a National Security Council meeting in 2017, Trump yelled at his generals and advisers for nearly half an hour about the Afghani war:
‘The soldiers on the ground could run things much better than you. They could do a much better job. I don’t know what the hell we’re doing. How many more deaths? How many more lost limbs? How much longer are we going to be there?’
Trump had dinner with Mattis, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Joseph Dunford Jr. and others where he called the heroic Senator John McCain (R-AZ) was “a coward.”
POTUS claimed the prisoner of war should have taken early release from a Vietnamese prisoner-of war camp. After all, his father was a famous Navy admiral. Instead, McCain endured years more of his five and a half torture campaign. Mattis corrected the man sitting in the Oval Office:
‘No, Mr. President, I think you’ve got it reversed.’
Trump called Mattis and told him to assassinate Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad after the dictator used a chemical attack on his own people:
‘Let’s fucking kill him! Let’s go in. Let’s kill the fucking lot of them.’
Mattis agreed, but immediately told one of his senior aides:
‘We’re not going to do any of that. We’re going to be much more measured.’
Former senior adviser to the president, Stephen Bannon screamed at first daughter Ivanka Trump:
‘You’re a goddamn staffer! You walk around this place and act like you’re in charge, and you’re not. You’re on staff!’
‘I’m not a staffer! I’ll never be a staffer. I’m the first daughter.’
Featured image is a screenshot via YouTube.