Published On: Wed, Sep 5th, 2018

Bob Woodward’s Book On Trump: The Most Explosive Quotes

A Bob Woodward expose book has been a rite of passage for presidential administrations since the storied investigative reporter first made a name for himself by breaking Richard Nixon’s Watergate scandal. Now it’s Donald Trump’s turn under the microscope.

Bob Woodward

The White House, and the president himself, have since responded to the book, calling it “fabricated stories” by “former disgruntled employees”.

“It’s just another bad book,” Mr Trump told the Daily Caller during an interview, adding that Woodward “has a a lot of credibility problems”.

Here’s a look at some of the blockbuster revelations that have emerged so far from early excerpts of Woodward’s book.

“I can stop this. I’ll just take the paper off his desk.” – Gary Cohn

Woodward describes several instances where Trump administration officials – chief economic adviser Gary Cohn and White House Staff Secretary Rob Porter, in particular – removed documents from the president’s desk to keep Mr Trump from signing them.

Woodward describes these acts as “no less than an administrative coup d’etat”.

“Let’s [expletive] kill him. Let’s go in.” – Donald Trump

One of the sources of considerable consternation for the president’s staff, per Woodward, was what they viewed as his dangerous impulses on foreign policy.

After the US believed the Syrian government had launched another chemical attack in April 2017, Mr Trump told Defence Secretary James Mattis to assassinate President Bashar Assad.

“Let’s kill the [expletive] lot of them,” the president reportedly said.

“We’re in Crazytown. I don’t even know why any of us are here. This is the worst job I’ve ever had.” – John Kelly

Woodward paints a picture of a White House staff constantly beaten down and belittled by a temperamental president.

If the president was abusive toward his staff, it appears they have got some measure of revenge in the Woodward book, which is chock full of caustic quotes about the president attributed to the aides and advisers who serve him.

Chief of Staff Kelly repeatedly calls Mr Trump an “idiot” and said that “it’s pointless to try to convince him of anything”. Defence Secretary Mattis told an aide that the president has the foreign policy understanding of a “fifth- or sixth-grader” (an 11 or 12-year-old).

“Nobody told me about it, and I would’ve loved to have spoken to you. You know I’m very open to you. I think you’ve always been fair.” – Donald Trump

In a pre-emptive strike against what is sure to be a furious White House pushback against the book, the Washington Post released an audio recording and transcript of a call the president made to Woodward in early August. In it, the president claims he was never contacted for an interview or informed of Woodward’s soon-to-be-published work – an assertion the reporter successfully rebuts.

Mr Trump makes several attempts to steer conversation toward his foreign policy achievements and economic record as president.

Woodward concludes the call by saying “I believe in our country, and because you’re our president, I wish you good luck”.

If his book is any indication, Woodward probably thinks Mr Trump will need all the luck he can get.