Woodward on Trump Reaction To Book: "There's A War On Truth By Him"


NBC: Pulitzer Prize winner Bob Woodward joins 'TODAY' to talk about his bombshell new book, 'Fear,' an unsparing look at President Trump's administration. The president responded to Woodward in a tweet shortly after the show (see below).

"I've never seen an instance when the president is so detached from the reality of what’s going on," Woodward told host Savannah Guthrie.

"This has not been treated seriously enough," Woodward said about Trump's behavior. "Some of the things that Trump did and does jeopardize the real national security."

Woodward when challenged on Trump officials and supporters denying statements said that they are the ones who are "not telling the truth." He defended the authenticity of his book against criticism of the use of anonymous sources.

"This is a war on truth by [President Trump]," he said of attacks by Trump. "He said these are unnamed sources. But these are not unnamed incidents. Specific people on specific dates."

"The incidents are not anonymous," he reiterated. "It gives a date, it gives a time, who participates, most often the president himself and what he says."

"These are political statements to protect their jobs," he said. "Totally understandable."

"[Secretary of Defense] Jim Mattis, another person. Quoted as saying the president's understanding is like a 5th or 6th grader. He's come out subsequently and says, 'I didn't say it.' Are they lying?" Guthrie asked.

"They are not telling the truth," Woodward answered.

"That's lying," she said.

"Look, what's going on here, my old boss at The Washington Post Ben Bradlee, the great editor, used to say the truth emerges, sometimes it takes time," he said. "This is as carefully done as you can do in an excavation of the reality of what goes on."

Woodward on "the problem" of not treating Trump's actions seriously enough:

WOODWARD: This has not been treated seriously enough. Some of the things that Trump did and does jeopardize the real national security... this country does some things in the intelligence world which are so important to protect the country. They are astonishing. They are secret. They are called special-access programs and he jeopardizes them. He jeopardizes the position in the economy by doing things that experts -- 99.9% say don't do tariffs."

Woodward on Trump showing signs of a "cognitive decline" (quote by Guthrie):

WOODWARD: Look, my job here is not to psychoanalyze, it's to describe what happened on specific dates in specific moments and the people-- look, the people who are willing to talk are people of conscience, people of courage, people who said, look, the world needs to know this. If you don't think it is risky for somebody to answer the questions and giving the real details and it is, and they're willing to take that risk because as Gary Cohn said, got to protect the country.

Trump reacts to Woodward interview:

On Friday, Trump called the book a "scam."

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