LISTEN: Washington Post Releases Audio of Trump Complaining to Bob Woodward About His ‘Bad Book’
As Bob Woodward prepares to release his explosive new book on the White House, the Washington Post has released a transcript and audio recording from the legendary reporter’s most recent conversation with President Donald Trump.
The conversation begins with Trump asking Woodward why he never pursued an interview with him personally before completing his manuscript. Woodward said he tried to reach out to the president through “six or seven” aides, including Kellyanne Conway and Raj Shah, but he never heard back.
As Woodward described his efforts to get in contact with Trump, he mentioned that he spoke to Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), who told him he informed Trump about the interview request.
Trump: And I certainly don’t mind talking to you, and I wish I could’ve spoken to you. But nobody called my office. I mean, you went through, I guess, different people. …
BW: Well, Mr. President, how can I spend all this time talking to people and — like Kellyanne and Raj and Republican senators?
Trump: Who were the senators? No, they never called me about it.
BW: Senator [Lindsey] Graham said he had talked to you about talking to me. Now, is that not true?
Trump: Senator Graham actually mentioned it quickly in one meeting.
BW: Yes. Well, see. And then nothing happened.
Trump: That is true. That is true. Well, that — no, but that is true. Mentioned it quickly, not like, you know, and I would certainly have thought that maybe you would’ve called the office. But that’s okay. I’ll speak to Kellyanne. I am a little surprised that she wouldn’t have told me.
Interestingly enough, even though Conway was apparently unable to deliver Woodward’s interview request to Trump in two and a half months, she happened to be close enough that she was called to the phone and said the request got rejected because of protocol reasons.
At other points in the call, Trump grumbled about how Woodward was releasing a “bad book” about him, and he demanded to know if the book would name the people who spoke to Woodward. The WaPo associate editor defended the accuracy of his work, which is based on various first-hand personal accounts, documents, and White House memorandums, though Trump continued to bemoan how he was never directly contacted, therefore it’ll be “a very inaccurate book.”
Trump: But you never called for me. It would’ve been nice, Bob, if you called for me, in my office. I mean, I have a secretary. I have two, three secretaries. If you would’ve called directly — a lot of people are afraid . . . Raj, I hardly have . . . I don’t speak to Raj.
BW: Kellyanne is a . ..
Trump: I do, I do, and Kellyanne went to somebody, but she didn’t come to me.
BW: Well, does she have access to you?
Trump: And she should’ve come to me. She does have access to me. Absolutely. She has direct access, but she didn’t come to me. And you know what? That’s okay. I’ll just end up with another bad book. What can I tell you?
BW: It’s surprising to me that these people — did Raj have access to you?
Trump: Not really, but he would’ve been able to do it. But I have an office. You have the office number. I have an office that’s directly into my office.
Listen above, via Washington Post.
[Image via screengrab]
Have a tip we should know? email@example.com