Woodward calls Trump a ‘bulldozer’ who doesn’t listen to advisers
Veteran journalist Bob Woodward characterized President Trump as a “bulldozer” who doesn’t easily take advice from White House staff.
Woodward, whose book Rage was released to the public on Tuesday, touched on Trump’s relationship with his staffers during an interview with the Washington Post. His reporting drew controversy after excerpts showed that Trump worked early on in the pandemic to downplay the coronavirus threat while privately acknowledging its deadliness.
Woodward was asked if staffers who knew how deadly the virus was denied its severity.
“I think there was denial across the board,” he said of the White House.
He said that the president is “a one-man band” who is “going to do what he wants to do on impulse or on information he has.”
The Watergate sleuth said that Trump is a “bulldozer to the staff and, quite frankly, to the country.”
“He just says what he wants, and so, there’s no control. And this is one of the problems of the Trump presidency, that he doesn’t build a team. He doesn’t plan,” said Woodward.
During a Tuesday morning appearance on Fox & Friends, Trump said he read Woodward’s 480-page book “very quickly” and called it “very boring.” While calling in to the show, he also appeared to confirm some of Woodward’s previous reporting on his administration that he had initially denied.
Woodward had reported for his first book about Trump’s presidency, Fear: Trump in the White House, that Trump had discussed assassinating Syrian strongman Bashar Assad with then-Defense Secretary James Mattis. Trump, who labeled the book as “fiction,” said in 2018 that an assassination plot “was never contemplated, nor would it be contemplated.”
On Tuesday, the president backtracked and said that he discussed killing Assad with Mattis after Syria carried out a chemical weapons attack.
“I would’ve rather taken him out. I had him all set. Mattis didn’t want to do it. Mattis was a highly overrated general, and I let him go,” Trump said.