Woodward Calls Donald Trump ‘A Bulldozer,’ Widespread Denial In White House About COVID-19

Washington Post associate editor Bob Woodward characterized President Donald Trump as a “bulldozer” in an interview Tuesday and claimed there was widespread denial among White House staffers about the severity of COVID-19.

“I think there was denial across the board,” Woodward told the Post about White House aides and their knowledge of COVID-19. Woodward described Trump as “a one-man band” who is “going to do what he wants to do on impulse or on information he has.”

“He’s a bulldozer to the staff and, quite frankly, to the country,” Woodward continued. “And he just says what he wants, and so there’s no control. And this is one of the problems of the Trump presidency, that he doesn’t build a team. He doesn’t plan.”

Woodward conducted 17 on-the-record interviews with Trump in order to write his newly released book “Rage.” During one interview with Woodward in February, Trump admitted to downplaying COVID-19. 

“I wanted to, I wanted to always play it down. I still like playing it down, because I don’t want to create a panic,” Trump told Woodward. The comments drew criticism from Democratic nominee Joe Biden, who alleged Trump of lying to the public about the virus.

In an interview with Fox & Friends on Tuesday, Trump said he read Woodward’s new book and called it “very boring.” 

“I actually got to read it last night. I read it very quickly and it was very boring,” Trump told the news outlet. “But there was not much in that book.”

It’s unclear why Trump chose to do the interviews with Woodward. Former White House Communications Director Anthony Scaramucci said Trump wanted Woodward to like him. 

“Trump loves brands, and Woodward has been the gold standard for 50 years of investigative journalism around the presidency, so it’s the same reason why he likes the Gray Lady, he likes The New York Times. It’s the paper of record traditionally in his hometown, so even though both excoriate him, he’s attracted to them the way a low-IQ small moth would be to a flame,” Scaramucci told Politico last week. “Trump is always convinced that if he talks to the person, he is going to elucidate and enlighten that person and get them to like him.”

Woodward began his career at the Washington Post in 1971 and garnered fame for his reporting on the Watergate scandal with Carl Bernstein in 1972, leading to the resignation of President Richard Nixon.

Woodward has written 19 books on U.S. politics and the presidency. He previously wrote “Fear,” an account of the first two years of the Trump administration and “Obama’s Wars,” about the 44th president’s handling of foreign policy in Iraq and Afghanistan.

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Woodward describes Trump as a ‘bulldozer’ who ignores advice from White House staff

Washington Post editor Bob Woodward said that President TrumpDonald John TrumpDemocrats, advocates seethe over Florida voting rights ruling Russian jets identified in Trump campaign ad calling for support for the troops Democratic Senate candidate ‘hesitant’ to get COVID-19 vaccine if approved this year MORE is a “bulldozer” who ignores guidance from White House aides.

I think there was denial across the board,” Woodward told the Post on Tuesday.

Trump gave 18 on-the-record interviews with Woodward for the journalist’s new book, titled “Rage,” his second on Trump’s presidency. Recordings and excerpts of Woodward’s interviews with Trump were released last week.

Among dozens of revelations in Woodward’s reporting, Trump privately acknowledged to the journalist in early February that COVID-19 was “deadly,” even as he publicly dismissed concerns about the novel coronavirus around the same time.

“He’s a bulldozer to the staff and, quite frankly, to the country,” Woodward told the Post, where he works as an associate editor. “And he just says what he wants, and so there’s no control. And this is one of the problems of the Trump presidency, that he doesn’t build a team. He doesn’t plan.”

The president has often touted his decision to cut off travel to China early in the pandemic, though Woodward said that decision was suggested by other administration officials, not Trump.

“My reporting shows that it was the doctors and the national security team that told the president that he needed to do this, and he okayed it,” Woodward said. “And if this was such a big deal, he would have gone out and announced it. Instead, he sent the secretary of health and human services, [Alex] Azar, to announce it.”

Trump claimed Tuesday that he read Woodward’s book “very quickly” and found it to be “boring.”

When asked if the claims in the book were accurate, Trump said they were “fine” and doubled down on his previous defense of his decision to downplay the virus, claiming he did not want to incite panic.

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