Lots of news today about veteran journalist Bob Woodward’s forthcoming book, Fear, which Woodward says is based on hundreds of hours of interviews with current and past White House staffers.
In one passage, Woodward says Gary Cohn, Trump’s former top-economic adviser, was very unhappy about Trump’s “both sides to blame” comment regarding a neo-nazi rally in Charlottesville.
And Trump allegedly felt calling out the neo-nazis was “the biggest fucking mistake” he’d ever made.
Via The Washington Post:
Gary Cohn came to regard the president as “a professional liar” and threatened to resign in August 2017 over Trump’s handling of a deadly white supremacist rally in Charlottesville. Cohn, who is Jewish, was especially shaken when one of his daughters found a swastika on her college dorm room.
Trump was sharply criticized for initially saying that “both sides” were to blame. At the urging of advisers, he then condemned white supremacists and neo-Nazis, but almost immediately told aides, “That was the biggest fucking mistake I’ve made” and the “worst speech I’ve ever given,” according to Woodward’s account.
In another anecdote, according to Woodward, Trump’s advisers all had different nicknames for the president.
Chief of staff John Kelly describes Trump as an “idiot” and “unhinged,” Woodward reports. Defense Secretary James Mattis describes Trump as having the understanding of “a fifth or sixth grader.” And Trump’s former personal lawyer John Dowd describes the President as “a fucking liar,” telling Trump he would end up in an “orange jump suit” if he testified to special counsel Robert Mueller.
“He’s an idiot. It’s pointless to try to convince him of anything. He’s gone off the rails. We’re in crazytown,” Kelly is quoted as saying at a staff meeting in his office. “I don’t even know why any of us are here. This is the worst job I’ve ever had.”
It looks to be a fascinating read. Check out a lengthy list of episodes chronicled in the book here.
The White House has predictably denied allegations in the book and called it a “pathetic attempt to smear people” close to the president.