The Real Donald Trump: ‘The wrong man for the job’
Will Bob Woodward’s book ‘Rage’ will bring down President Donald Trump just as his and Carl Bernstein’s reporting on Watergate scandal had forced President Richard Nixon to resign
Nobody is sure if Bob Woodward’s book ‘Rage’, released in the US this week, will bring down President Donald Trump just as his and Carl Bernstein’s reporting for the Washington Post on the Watergate scandal had forced President Richard Nixon to resign.
Released barely seven weeks before the US Presidential election on November 3, reviewers wonder if the book will prove damning enough to sway Trump supporters though Woodward does end the book with his own comment that Trump is the wrong man for the job. “When his performance as president is taken in its entirety,” he writes, “I can only reach one conclusion: Trump is the wrong man for the job.”
Woodward met Trump 18 times between January and July this year and taped nine hours of conversation with him. While Presidential aides advised him against talking to Woodward, Trump was convinced that he could charm Woodward, now 77 years old and a Washington D.C. veteran with deep sources. Trump has now called the book ‘fake’ and brushes it aside as of no particular significance.
Bob Woodward has factchecked nine presidents. “Rage” is his 20th book. But whatever the book’s impact on the election and US voters, it provides valuable insight into the world’s most powerful man and reconfirms several traits of the US President that others have also noted. Woodward quotes Trump’s son-in-law saying that the President believed exaggeration (lies) to be an effective communication tool. The book also quotes the former Director of National Intelligence as saying that Russian President Vladimir Putin had some ‘hold’ over Trump.
Woodward also confirms the widely held perception that the US President is narcissistic, childlike and prone to succumb to flattery. Trump shows him the letters written to him by the North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un. In a letter the North Korean leader wrote to the US President: “Our meetings, our relationship, is out of a fantasy film…There is a magical force between us...Even now, I cannot forget that moment of history, when I firmly held your Excellency’s hand as the whole world watched.”
The letters, Woodward told interviewers, were examined by analysts at the CIA and that they concluded that the letters were masterpieces as they appealed to the vanity and sense of grandiosity of the President—a treatment not very different to what the Indian Prime Minister delivers to his ‘friend Dolan’.
Trump bragged that Kim “tells me everything. … He killed his uncle and put the body right in the steps where the senators walked out. And the head was cut, sitting on the chest...’ But more to the point, he confesses that he gets along well with dictators and strongmen and speaks glowingly of his relations with them. “I get on very well with Erdoğan,” Trump said, referring to the president of Turkey. “Everyone says ‘what
a horrible guy’ but for me it works out. It’s funny, the relationships I have, the tougher and meaner they are, the better I get along with them. Explain that to me someday, OK, but maybe it’s not a bad thing.”
Trump boasts of being No. 1 on Twitter and Facebook. Woodward then reports that, in fact, he has the 9th most popular account on Twitter and is outranked by several dozen on Facebook.
Here are some of the statements the US President makes in the book and which have been circulating on social media: “I don’t think Obama’s smart,” he says, adding, “Hey look, I went to the best schools, I did great. … You know, they talk about the elite … they have nice houses. No, I have much better than them, I have better everything than them, including education.”
Trump knew back in January that the Coronavirus was much deadlier than the flu, that it spreads through the air, that it kills not just the elderly but young people too. Yet he told the public that all was well, that the germs would vanish soon—and, even now, he encourages thousands of barefaced supporters to attend jampacked rallies.
He said he had protected Saudi Arabian crown prince Mohammed bin Salman from US Congressional inquiry following the assassination in Istanbul of Saudi dissident Jamal Khashoggi.
Woodward told CBS that Trump told him, ‘In the presidency, there’s always dynamite behind the door.’ Woodward added, “The real dynamite is President Trump. He is the dynamite.”