Bob Woodward, like Carl Bernstein, became famous for his reporting on the Watergate scandal which unseated Richard Nixon and undermined his presidency. A common criticism of his works is the overuse of ‘anonymous sources’ and hyperbole or exaggeration.
Perhaps, then, it should be no surprise that some members of the Donald Trump administration are lashing out at how Woodward portrayed them in his new book, “Fear: Trump in the White House.” Most notably, one former member of the White House claimed that the book misquoted him and described events that simply did not happen. Allegedly, the leftist tome is filled with fake news, and one ‘source’ even denies not only the ‘mock interview’ as written, but even that much of what he wrote about ever happened in the first place.
According to John Dowd, President Trump’s former attorney, details in the book are less than factual, including claims that he called the president a ‘f*cking liar’ and suggested that he would end up in an “orange jump suit.”
Among other claims that Dowd contested is the allegation that he sat down President Donald J. Trump for a ‘mock interview’ in January.
Allegedly, this ‘interview’ was designed to see what would happen, how the President of the United States would perform, if he were forced to submit to questioning by Robert Mueller and his special investigators.
Mr. Woodward’s account claims that Dowd, along with Jay Sekulow, another attorney for the most powerful man on the planet, saw what he described as the “full nightmare” of possibilities if the president were to sit down with the special investigation.
Furthermore, the book states that they reenacted the exercise in March, in front of Mueller, and that the pair of defense attorneys argued that he was incapable of truthful testimony.
According to excerpts of the book published by CNN and the Washington Post earlier today, Dowd told Robert Mueller himself that Donald Trump “just made something up,” going on to declare that this was simply his nature.
The Post said that the mock interview occurred on January 27, while the meeting with the special investigator occurred on March 5.
The book also claimed that President Trump’s lawyer warned him that he shouldn’t testify, saying that it was “either that or an orange jump suit” for the commander-in-chief.
The narrative suggests that the reason Mr. Dowd resigned from the President’s legal team was that his client insisted he would be a good witness in his own defense.
Woodward’s retelling of the story includes an account of Dowd’s thoughts about his client to himself, wherein he says “you’re a f*cking liar,” concerning the president, even though it’s unclear how Woodward would know this.
For his part, the attorney denied that account.
In an interview with the Washington Examiner, he contested important parts of the narrative, including claims about what he said and his alleged meeting with Mueller to describe the President’s interview prep to him.
In an email, he outright stated that no such ‘re-enactment’ took place, and that he never disparaged his client.
To the contrary, Dowd said that it was a great honor and distinct privilege to be able to serve President Trump.
Commenting on the book, the attorney declared that it appeared to be “the most recent in an endless cycle” of stories based on anonymous statements from “unknown malcontents.”
He also said that there was never a mock interview to reenact in the first place.
The book, which will be on shelves everywhere on September 11, contains a number of incendiary quotes disparaging the president, attributed to senior officials.
These quotes include White House Chief of Staff calling the President “unhinged,” saying that he’s an “idiot,” and declaring that they were “in Crazytown.”
There’s also a quote attributed to James Mattis, formerly of the United States Marine Corps and now Secretary of Defense, alleging that the president has the understanding of a fifth or sixth grader.
The book also adds context to Rex Tillerson, the former Secretary of State, and his decision to call the president a “f*cking moron,” which likely led to his departure from his lofty position.
At no point did Woodward interview President Donald J. Trump for the book, but he did say that the president called him last month. According to the author, he told him that he believes that there’s “nothing” in the book he’s publishing that “doesn’t come from a firsthand source.”
Given his history of work, it’s more than fair to wonder if the words attributed to Dowd are far from the only exaggerated claims in the book.