In his latest, Bob Woodward finally lets us know what he’s thinking about a president. But it’s Trump himself who does the most damage.
By Fred Kaplan
Sept 14, 202011:01 AM
If books can still have political impact (a big if), then Rage, Bob Woodward’s latest in his series of presidential profiles, should wind up an election-shaping blockbuster. He doesn’t merely quote anonymous sources dissing the policies and character of Donald Trump. He catches Trump himself in self-incriminating blather—17 interviews’ worth, from January to July of 2020—on the record, on tape. We’ve all been waiting for someone to leak secretly recorded tapes of Trump saying ghastly things. Who would have predicted that he’d say them to one of the world’s most famous reporters with a tape recorder in clear sight!
You’ve no doubt read or even heard the biggest scoop: Trump knew back in January that the coronavirus was much deadlier than the flu, that it spreads through the air, that it kills not just the elderly but young people too. Yet he told the public that all was well, that the germs would vanish soon—and, even now, he encourages thousands of barefaced supporters to attend jampacked rallies, makes fun of Joe Biden for wearing a mask, and pressures the Big Ten colleges to resume their football schedules, for his entertainment.