Legendary Watergate reporter Bob Woodward shared insights on the “Trump Tapes” during his explicit interview with MSNBC anchor Ari Melber in his Washington home.
Trump’s Deceptive Narrative
Woodward delved into the revelation of how he discovered President Trump’s deceptive narrative regarding the dangers of the COVID-19 pandemic reporting that he was ‘dumbfounded’ at his findings.
Negligence on National Security
The discussion highlighted the negligence displayed by Trump in addressing a national security and health crisis, as exposed in the recorded conversations. Woodward claims that there was a lot of eleventh-hour ‘sidestepping’.
National Security Advisers’ Warning
Woodward underscored the significant revelation that Trump’s National Security Adviser Robert O’Brien and Deputy Matt Pottinger warned the president about the impending severity of the virus in early January.
O’Brien’s stark warning to Trump was emphasized, pointing out the unprecedented nature of the alert about the virus being a substantial threat to the president’s tenure.
Pandemic Concerns Acknowledged
During a February interview with Trump, Woodward confirmed that Trump fully acknowledged the dangers of the pandemic, stating that the concerns moved beyond ‘old people’ and were ‘deadly stuff.”
In a call the following month, Trump admitted that in light of the gravity of the disease, he had chosen to ‘play it down’ and intended to continue doing so to avoid ‘creating a panic.’
Pottinger’s Grave Prediction
Matt Pottinger’s prediction, based on his contacts in the medical underground in China, was highlighted—anticipating a staggering death toll of 650,000, serving as a dire wake-up call.
Election Year Revelation
The timing of the warning, occurring in the year of Trump’s re-election campaign, adds a layer of significance to the revelations brought forth by Woodward.
Trump’s more recent comments have highlighted his justifications for downplaying the pandemic, an act that he implied was altruistic by nature by showing ‘leadership’, and wanting to show ‘calm’.
Woodward further reflected on his extensive experience covering national security advisers, noting the exceptional and dramatic nature of the warnings provided by O’Brien and Pottinger.
Unprecedented Health Crisis
The gravity of the health crisis was underscored as Woodward recounted the warnings, emphasizing the potential impact on the nation’s security and public health. It was predicted that a full pandemic would be in force by March of the same year.
Trump’s Response to Advisers
Insights into Trump’s response to the warnings from his advisers shed light on the decision-making dynamics within the administration during a critical period, and Trump’s dismissal of early warnings.
Trump had previously stated, “Certainly I’m not going to drive this country or the world into a frenzy. We want to show confidence. We have to show strength.”
Stark Contrast to Past Advisories
Woodward drew attention to the stark contrast between the warnings about the pandemic and previous advisories provided by national security advisers spanning several administrations.
President Biden recently confirmed that over 190,000 Americans died from COVID-19, further stating that Trump’s words were “beyond despicable”. He said, “It was a life-and-death betrayal of the American people.
Woodward’s Revelations Revealed
Woodward’s new book is based on 18 on-the-record phone calls he had with Trump from December to July. It attributes explicit details surrounding the internal workings of the White House as well as a series of interviews with unnamed governmental aides.
A Tell-All Publication
Woodward, a highly respected veteran journalist who is an associate editor of The Post highlighted that his no-holds-barred book will name those who provided advisory input, as well as those who resisted urgent calls to action.
Impact on National Security
Woodward underscores the broader implications for national security, pointing to the interconnectedness of the pandemic’s threat with the stability of the country under inefficient leadership, and the potential ramifications to those who participated.
Role of National Security Advisers
The role and responsibilities of national security advisers come under scrutiny as Woodward details the pivotal moments when O’Brien and Pottinger confronted Trump with the urgent information.
O’Briens Crucial Warnings
According to the book, advisor Robert O’Brien told Trump on Jan. 28, “This will be the biggest national security threat you face in your presidency. This is going to be the roughest thing you face.”
Ramifications on Trump’s Presidency
The potential ramifications of Trump’s handling of the pandemic, as revealed in the tapes, on his presidency are explored in the context of public trust and accountability.
Woodward’s closing thoughts on the lasting impact of the revelations highlight ongoing discussions and reflections on the Trump administration’s handling of the COVID-19 crisis and the potential impacts on his 2024 election.
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