It’s been nine months since Michael Wolff’s Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House shocked readers with its revelations about the 45th president. And now, another (and arguably much more legitimate book) about Donald Trump’s presidency, written by Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Bob Woodward, is making waves. Fear: Trump in the White House has once again depicted Trump as an incompetent liar, and even the president is talking about it.
The Washington Post, where Woodward works as an associate editor, published an overview of Fear yesterday, September 4th. Quotes shared from the book by the Post paint a picture of a clueless president who’s treated with scorn by his senior staff. White House Chief of Staff John Kelly is quoted as calling Trump “unhinged” and saying, “We’re in Crazytown.” Woodward writes that former Chief of Staff Reince Priebus, meanwhile, calls Trump’s bedroom “the devil’s workshop” because of the president’s tendency to tweet while watching the news.
In Fear, the president is described as calling Attorney General Jeff Sessions “mentally retarded” and reportedly mocked his Southern accent. In a September 4th tweet, Trump denied ever saying these things, writing that Woodward “made this up to divide.”
One of the most disturbing details revealed in the book is perhaps the president’s reaction to the 2017 white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia. Woodward reports that after Trump made a statement about violence “on many sides,” White House aides urged him to condemn white supremacy. But Fear reveals that Trump called the second address “the biggest f*cking mistake I’ve made,” and the “worst speech I’ve ever given.”
After the Post shared the overview of Fear, Trump tweeted statements from Kelly, Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders, and Secretary of Defense James Mattis claiming that Woodward’s quotes were falsified. Sanders called the book “fabricated stories,” Mattis said the quotes attributed to him were “never uttered by me,” and Kelly wrote that “this story is total BS.”
But Woodward, who famously reported on the Watergate scandal, has a reputation for thoroughness. Although Trump has tried to discredit Fear by claiming he didn’t know about the book, a transcript of a conversation between Woodward and the president reveals that the journalist made several attempts to book an interview with the POTUS himself.
Fear: Trump in the White House comes out on September 11th and is currently available for preorder on Amazon.