Bob Woodward, the famed Watergate journalist whom Christopher Hitchens called the “stenographer to the rich and powerful,” has quietly been writing a new book all about President Trump.
The Washington Post writer, who sometimes makes up things (see below), has decided to release his book on Sept. 11 (an odd day to be having a book party in Georgetown with champagne and caviar). Titled “Fear: Trump in the White House,” the 75-year-old “reveals in unprecedented detail the harrowing life inside President Donald Trump’s White House and precisely how he makes decisions on major foreign and domestic policies,” the publisher’s release says, according to The Washington Post.
The expected tenor of the book is underscored by its unsettling cover, an extreme close-up of a squinty-eyed Trump depicted through a gauzy red filter. The hush-hush project derives its title from an offhand remark that then-candidate Trump made in an interview with Woodward and Post political reporter Robert Costa in April 2016. Costa asked Trump whether he agreed with a statement by then-President Barack Obama, who had said in an Atlantic magazine interview that “real power means you can get what you want without having to exert violence.”
At first Trump seemed to agree, saying: “Well, I think there’s a certain truth to that. . . . Real power is through respect.”
But then he added a personal twist: “Real power is, I don’t even want to use the word: ‘Fear.’ ”
Woodward, who declined to be quoted for this article, has privately described the remark as “an almost Shakespearean aside.”
Weird, the Post can’t even get a quote from one of its associate editors.
Woodward’s 448-page book is the result of “hundreds of hours” of interviews, as well as notes, files and diaries that Woodward has seen to create the account of Trump’s White House, according to his publisher, Simon & Schuster. But Woodward did not interview Trump.
“‘Fear’ is the most intimate portrait of a sitting president ever published during a president’s first years in office,” one source told CNN, adding that “the book will take readers behind the scenes of the Trump White House with extensive in-the-room accounts of meetings with the president.
“It will give readers a front row seat to Trump and his time in the White House,” said the source. “You are in the Oval office, the Situation Room, Air Force One and the White House residence. You are face to face with Trump and the book documents detailed conversations, meetings, policy debates and critical decisions.”
But Woodward sometimes has trouble with the truth. Is his book “Veil,” about the Iran-Contra affair, “Woodward claimed to have entered, in disguise, into Casey’s hospital room, shortly before he died and to have extracted a confession of wrongdoing from him. It was proved absolutely that Casey was not compos mentis at the time, and that his room was heavily secured from such intrusions,” Conrad Black wrote in 2011.
“Mr. Casey’s widow, Sophia, has denied that Mr. Woodward had interviewed her husband in the hospital,” The New York Times reported. Following Casey’s death, President Ronald Reagan wrote: “[Woodward]’s a liar and he lied about what Casey is supposed to have thought of me.”
Trump took issue with the last big book about his White House. After Michael Wolff published “Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House” in January, Trump bashed Wolff as “a mentally deranged author” and called the book “fake.”
“Michael Wolff is a total loser who made up stories in order to sell this really boring and untruthful book,” Trump wrote on Twitter. “He used [former White House adviser] Sloppy Steve Bannon, who cried when he got fired and begged for his job. Now Sloppy Steve has been dumped like a dog by almost everyone. Too bad!”