Just one day after Trump’s former attorney and “fixer” Michael Cohen told Rachel Maddow that Trump craves the kind of power that dictators and strongmen like Vladimir Putin, Mohammed bin Salmon, and Kim Jong Un have, revelations from Bob Woodward’s new book, Rage, set to be released on September 15, have rocked the country.
So many stunning quotes and revelations here from Bob Woodward's 18 on-the-record interviews with Trump between December and July, plus the first reported excerpts of Trump's letters with Kim Jong Un, via @costareports & @PhilipRucker.
— Peter Wallsten (@peterwallsten) September 9, 2020
Woodward includes in his book excerpts from the “love letters” Trump bragged he was being sent by North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un. Also included is Trump’s name-calling of CIA and FBI directors who he says are incompetent in handling the threat that North Korea is under its current leadership.
According to The Washington Post:
‘“Rage” includes the first reported excerpts of letters Trump exchanged with Kim, and quotes Trump in his interviews with Woodward using expletives to defend their pen-pal relationship. Even as U.S. intelligence chiefs warn that North Korea is unlikely to ever surrender its nuclear weapons and that Trump’s approach is ineffective, the president told Woodward he is determined to stay the course and dismissively says the CIA has “no idea” how to handle North Korea.
‘“I met. Big fucking deal,” Trump told Woodward, waving off criticism of his three face-to-face meetings with Kim. “It takes me two days. I met. I gave up nothing.”’
Trump rips the CIA (it has "no idea" how to handle North Korea) for its pessimism of his nuclear diplomacy with Kim Jong Un in new Bob Woodward book, via @costareports & @PhilipRucker https://t.co/3FmhbYJYsu pic.twitter.com/Tbm1QIaJnU
— John Hudson (@John_Hudson) September 9, 2020
In the book, Trump also had a lot to say about his predecessor, Barack Obama, who he says is neither intelligent nor a good speaker. Most laughably, Trump insulted Obama by telling Woodward that the dictator of North Korea, a man who regularly starves and kills his own citizens, thinks Obama is an “a**hole.”
‘Trump was dismissive about former president Barack Obama and told Woodward he was inclined to refer to him by his first and middle names, “Barack Hussein,” but wouldn’t in his company, to be “very nice.”
‘“I don’t think Obama’s smart,” Trump told Woodward. “I think he’s highly overrated. And I don’t think he’s a great speaker.” Trump added that North Korean leader Kim Jong Un thought Obama was “an asshole.”’
Trump Says Kim Jong Un 'Tells Me Everything,' Shared Story About Having His Uncle Killed, Woodward Book Reveals https://t.co/hky1S3uklg
— #TuckFrump (@realTuckFrumper) September 9, 2020
Excerpts from the letters included in the book show that the North Korean government has very much figured out how to play Trump, relying on his need for flattery and praise to convince him of their positions. Those “love letters” Trump bragged about include multiple instances of Kim referring to the president as “excellency,” a fact that Trump found flattering.
‘Trump was taken with Kim’s flattery, Woodward writes, telling the author pridefully that Kim had addressed him as “Excellency.” Trump remarked that he was awestruck meeting Kim for the first time in 2018 in Singapore, thinking to himself, “Holy shit,” and finding Kim to be “far beyond smart.” Trump also boasted to Woodward that Kim “tells me everything,” including a graphic account of Kim having his uncle killed.’
Trump sent Kim Jong Un a copy of the New York Times front page featuring a picture of the two of them.
“Chairman, great picture of you, big time,” Trump wrote on the paper in marker.
Trump bragged to Woodward: “He never smiled before. I’m the only one he smiles with!” pic.twitter.com/PS3nFKFqya
— James Hohmann (@jameshohmann) September 9, 2020