Coming two days before the painful anniversary of the 9/11 attacks on the United States, Sept. 9, was categorized by some political devotees as a major eruption in Donald Trump’s efforts to claim a second four-year term.
The story emerged from early copies of “Rage,” a political book featuring Trump’s taped remarks provided by highly acclaimed author Bob Woodward, who interviewed the president over a total of nine hours.
President Trump admitted that in March he publicly downplayed the danger of the Coronavirus as it silently spread around the world.
He said, “I like playing it down, because I don’t want to create a panic.”
In the final interview with Woodward in July, Trump washed his hands of any responsibility for the spread of the virus in the US, which by September had infected 6 million Americans and killed more than 185,000.
If instead of playing down what he knew, Trump had acted decisively in early February with a strict shutdown and a consistent message to wear masks, social distance and washing hands, experts believe that thousands of the nation’s residents could have been saved from death.
“Rage” also includes brutal assessments of Trump’s presidency from many of his former top national security officials, including former Defense Secretary James Mattis and former Secretary of State Rex Tillerson.
The book is filled with anecdotes about top cabinet officials blindsided by tweets.
Mattis is quoted calling Trump “dangerous” and “unfit” to be commander in chief. The president has been widely criticized for calling military personnel “losers” and “suckers.”
Woodward obtained 28 “love letters” Trump exchanged with North Korea head of government Kim Jong Un.
Woodward reports new details on Russia’s election meddling, writing that the NSA and CIA have classified evidence the Russians had placed malware in the election registration systems of at least two Florida counties.
On Aug. 14, Trump preemptively attacked Woodward’s new book, tweeting, “The Bob Woodward book will be a FAKE, as always, just as many of the others have been.”
A number of Trump’s statements are captured on tape, with the president’s voice immediately recognizable.
After his 18 interviews, Woodward issues a stark verdict: Trump is the “dynamite behind the door.” The writer concludes the book with a declaration that “Trump is the wrong man for the job.”