Washington (CNN)On August 14, the coronavirus pandemic was on fireplace in the US. Additional than 168,000 Individuals experienced died, with more than one,300 deaths that working day alone. But when President Donald Trump named legendary journalist Bob Woodward, it was to discover out a single issue: He experienced a short while ago figured out that Woodward’s new e book “Rage” was performed and would be coming out in September, and Trump required to find out how he’d be portrayed.
It was their nineteenth dialogue, adhering to eighteen interviews that shaped a important element of Woodward’s e-book. Trump had privately instructed Woodward in February he realized crucial facts about how fatal the virus was, and in March admitted he was participating in it down.
On August 14, Trump peppered the veteran two-time Pulitzer Prize-successful journalist with thoughts about the guide and what just was in it.
CNN has acquired excerpts of the 10-minute discussion, which present Trump was much more concentrated on the economic system than the general public health crisis. As the two debated Trump’s response to the pandemic, Trump lastly requested: “So you think the virus absolutely supersedes the financial state?”
“Oh sure. But they’re similar, as you know,” Woodward responded.
“A very little bit, yeah,” Trump replied.
“Oh, a minor bit?” Woodward asked.
“I imply, a lot more than a very little bit. But the overall economy is executing — glimpse, we are close to a new inventory sector history,” Trump explained.
Trump’s problem to Woodward underscores the President’s perspective towards the virus.
Soon after 6 months of authorities making an attempt to convince Trump that the two are linked — that an economic restoration depends on initially stopping the virus — Trump is still centered on the stock marketplace and the economic climate because he thinks these are critical to his reelection.
In another component of the dialogue, Woodward informed Trump there are elements of the reserve the President won’t like. “It’s a tough ebook,” he claimed, adding that it’s “close to the bone.”
“You know the market’s coming again incredibly potent, you do know that,” Trump responded to Woodward.
“Of course, of system,” Woodward reported.
“Did you go over that in the e-book?” Trump requested.
‘I acted early’
Woodward and Trump continued to debate Trump’s response to the pandemic and how it will be crucial to the presidential election. When Woodward explained to Trump that the election will be a contest among him, previous Vice President Joe Biden “and the virus,” Trump insisted, “Absolutely nothing more could have been accomplished.”
He additional: “I acted early.”
Since the significant particulars of what Trump withheld about the virus have come to be general public, the President has attempted to change the dialogue.
“If Bob Woodward considered what I reported was undesirable, then he really should have instantly, suitable right after I claimed it, long gone out to the authorities so they can put together and permit them know,” Trump stated on Thursday. “But he failed to feel it was negative. And he claimed he didn’t feel it was terrible. He basically reported he did not feel it was lousy.”
Woodward advised CNN he under no circumstances stated this to the President.
Woodward said that when he heard Trump conversing about the coronavirus becoming airborne and deadlier than the flu in February, he initially experienced to go out and understand no matter whether that was truly correct, considering the fact that so tiny was identified about the virus and how it was unfold at the time.
Trump had outlined speaking to Chinese President Xi Jinping on February six, and Woodward wondered if the President had discovered people aspects based mostly on his conversation with Xi. For months, Woodward stated, he was chasing right after a transcript of that phone.
It wasn’t right until early May, when Woodward acquired about a January 28 leading solution intelligence briefing Trump experienced with his national security team, that Woodward started to piece alongside one another the tale. In that briefing, Trump’s countrywide security adviser Robert O’Brien informed Trump that the coronavirus would be “the major countrywide safety menace” of his presidency, and O’Brien’s deputy Matthew Pottinger warned Trump about human-to-human and asymptomatic unfold of the virus.
Trump also mentioned last week that the phone calls with Woodward were being “rapid kinds, not long kinds.” In point, the eighteen interviews totaled approximately ten hours. In much more than a fifty percent-dozen cases, it was Trump who referred to as Woodward unexpectedly, often late at night from the White Home residence.
As CNN reported very last 7 days, lots of of these calls were manufactured without the need of White House aides recognizing about them.
Throughout their eighteen interviews for the reserve, Trump sought Woodward’s approval, repeatedly inquiring Woodward no matter whether he was going to compose a “fantastic reserve.” The lobbying ongoing in their final discussion, when Woodward famous that just one of Trump’s accomplishments immediately after the book experienced long gone to push — the agreement to normalize relations among Israel and the United Arab Emirates — had earned Trump uncommon praise from New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman, who has been continuously significant of Trump.
“Tom Friedman? Which is good,” Trump reported.
“Is not that one thing?” Woodward responded.
“He is occur a prolonged way. The subsequent 1 I have to have is you,” Trump stated. “But it appears to be like I never have it on this reserve, but we are going to get you someday later on, I guess.”
A list of all of Woodward’s interviews with Trump
Job interview No. one — December 5, 2019 (seventy four minutes)
Interview No. two — December 13, 2019 (88 minutes)
Job interview No. three — December thirty, 2019 (70 minutes)
Job interview No. 4 — January 20, 2020 (25 minutes)
Interview No. 5 — January 22, 2020 (36 minutes)
Job interview No. six — February 7, 2020 (17 minutes)
Interview No. 7 — February 19, 2020 (fourteen minutes)
Interview No. eight — March 19, 2020 (forty minutes)
Interview No. 9 — March 28, 2020 (ten minutes)
Job interview No. 10 — April five, 2020 (twenty five minutes)
Interview No. 11 — April 13, 2020 (35 minutes)
Job interview No. twelve — May perhaps six, 2020 (14 minutes)
Interview No. thirteen — May possibly 22, 2020 (thirteen minutes)
Job interview No. 14 — June three, 2020 (eleven minutes)
Interview No. 15 — June 19, 2020 (16 minutes)
Job interview No. sixteen — June 22, 2020 (47 minutes)
Job interview No. seventeen — July eight, 2020 (seventeen minutes)
Interview No. 18 — July 21, 2020 (29 minutes)
Interview No. 19 — August fourteen, 2020 (ten minutes)