Here are some of the highlights courtesy of CBS:
“You look at the operation of this White House and you have to say, ‘Let’s hope to God we don’t have a crisis,'” said Bob Woodward.
“People who work for him are worried … that he will sign things or give orders that threaten the national security or the financial security of the country, or of the world,” Woodward said.
Aides like then-Chief Economic Adviser Gary Cohn and White House Staff Secretary Rob Porter literally stole documents off the president’s desk in the Oval Office, such as a letter terminating a trade agreement with South Korea, so that, Woodward explained, Mr. Trump could not sign them: “Because they realized that this would endanger the country.”
Martin asked, “How’d they get away with that?”
“[Trump] doesn’t remember. If it’s not on his desk, if it’s not immediately available for action, it goes away.”
Just think this part over for a little bit.
The accusation is that the president has such a limited attention span that those things which are not right in front of him, can be forgotten as if they never existed.
I think this reinforces the statements made in the past that Trump’s policy points of view are based on the last person that he had a conversation with, and can change based on the next person who sits down to speak with him.
However, that is not true in all cases. Some of his most dangerous views appear to be baked in.
According to Woodward, the president is obsessed by the fact that the U.S. pays $3.5 billion a year to station troops in South Korea as a first line of defense against the North. “I don’t know why they’re there,” he said at one meeting. “Let’s bring them all home.” At another meeting, Secretary of Defense James Mattis starkly why the U.S. has 28,000 troops in Korea: “We’re doing this in order to prevent World War III.”
“The United States has great strength and patience, but if it is forced to defend itself or its allies, we will have no choice but to totally destroy North Korea.” – President Trump at the United Nation, Sept. 19, 2017
The standoff with North Korea has been eased, for the moment, by the Singapore Summit, which brought together two leaders who had been trading nuclear threats and schoolyard insults.
Trump: “‘Rocket Man’ is on a suicide mission for himself and for his regime.”
The president later made that “Little Rocket Man” on Twitter, which he told Rob Porter “may be my best ever.” When Porter asked if it might provoke Kim, according to Woodward, the president replied, “It’s leader versus leader, man versus man, me versus Kim.”
Woodward also said that in all of his years of reporting on presidents he has never seen anything like what is going on in this White House.
“Fear: Trump in the White House” is Woodward’s 19th book, and he says reporting it took him deeper inside a working White House than he’s ever been before.
“This one was in the belly of the beast,” he said.
Martin asked, “And what did you conclude about the beast?”
“That people better wake up to what’s going on.”
Well, I am pretty damn woke, how about you?