Child President

Witch Hunt!

JM Ashby
Written by JM Ashby

Trump and several members of his cabinet have now publicly denied that they ever said the quotes included in Bob Woodward's book "Fear: Trump in the White House."

Trump swears he never called Attorney General Jeff Session "retarded" and a "dumb southerner," while Chief of Staff John Kelly denies that he called Trump an "idiot" and Secretary of Defense James Mattis denies that he said Trump has the understanding of a "fifth grader."

I believe they all said these things and apparently Trump does too as CNN reports that he's embarking a real witch hunt to find out who talked.

As the President publicly fumes on Twitter, he's privately on a mission to determine who did -- and didn't -- talk to Woodward, CNN has learned. Two officials who have spoken directly to the President say he is pleased with the denials offered by chief of staff John Kelly and Defense Secretary James Mattis.

In Trump's eyes, what makes or breaks aides who are reported to have made disparaging comments about him is how strongly they push back on the accusations. [...]

"He wants to know who talked to Woodward," one of the officials said, speaking on condition of anonymity amid the highly tense atmosphere in the West Wing in the wake of the book.

Perhaps paradoxically (or perhaps not) Vanity Fair reports that Trump is also angry because he personally did not get a chance to talk to Bob Woodward.

Two sources told me Trump is furious at the portions of the book that describe administration officials questioning his intelligence and emotional stability. Woodward reports that Chief of Staff John Kelly called Trump “an idiot” and the West Wing “Crazytown”; Defense Secretary Jim Mattis compared Trump to a “fifth- or sixth-grader”; and Trump’s former personal lawyer called Trump a “fucking liar” who would end up in “an orange jumpsuit” if he testified to special counsel Robert Mueller. [...]

Sources also said Trump blames the White House communications staff and Kellyanne Conway for not bringing Woodward’s interview requests to him. “I’m just hearing about it. So we’re going to have a very inaccurate book,” Trump told Woodward in a phone call last month, a transcript of which the Post published yesterday. (Whether aides in fact failed to tell Trump about Woodward’s interview requests is unclear. Conway declined to comment.)

If it were anyone else these two stories may seem contradictory, but in Trump's case this all checks out.

Trump is more than happy to talk to the Enemy of the People, and he always has been, as long as they're only afforded his (lies) side of the story.

  • Badgerite

    Of course it’s all true. Duh.

  • muselet

    Who talked to Bob Woodward? Probably everyone who ever worked in the Trump administration; certainly anyone who worked in the administration and wants to be allowed back into polite society.

    Were Woodward’s interview requests passed on to Donald Trump? On the one hand, there’s nothing Trump likes better than to waffle on about his awesomeness, so letting him know that Woodward wanted to talk to him was an obvious thing to do. On the other hand, there’s nothing Trump likes better than to waffle on about his awesomeness, so letting him know that Woodward wanted to talk to him was an obvious thing not to do. Almost certainly some of the requests got to Trump, depending on who was answering the phones on a given day.

    Did the people quoted in Woodward’s book say what is reported? More or less. Woodward isn’t a just-the-facts reporter; he spins yarns that are (fairly closely) based on facts. The gist of the comments is probably accurate, even if the exact phrasing is not.

    I wonder when we’ll hear reports of cabinet members and staffers being subjected to lie detector tests as part of Trump’s witch hunt.

    –alopecia

  • And now Trump has to find out who penned the anonymous (and cowardly) op-ed in the NYT as well.

    This will be fun to watch.

    • I read that piece of tripe and have been trying to guess who it is. Ultimately, it doesn’t matter. What matters is that the Trumpov courtiers are either too stupid or too arrogant (maybe both) to recognize that 1) invoking the 25th Amendment is using the Constitution properly and does not create a constitutional crisis, 2) we are already IN a constitutional crisis because they have effected a coup d’etat, and 3) they are betraying their country so they can enact destructive Republican policy that they’ve been dreaming about for over 30 years (kicking out the browns, making the rich richer, overturning Roe v Wade, etc, etc). So he/she/they can either step up and do the right thing, or they can STFU and expect to be wear an orange jumpsuit along with the Disembodied Anus pretending to be POTUS.

      ETA: Can you tell how angry I am?

      • Christopher Foxx

        and does not create a constitutional crisis

        Gods, I hate that term “constitutional crisis”. Following what the Constitution already says or, where it may not specifically say, working out what should be done within the framework of the Constitution is not a “crisis”.

        Applying the law, or interpreting it to determine how it applies in a new situation, is what courts do in every jurisdiction every day. And we don’t have a perpetual “statue crisis” happening in courtrooms.

        Fucking reorters and their hysteronics.

        • The Media certainly isn’t helping matters, are they?

          • Christopher Foxx

            They certainly aren’t.

            In many ways, the news organizations are the key. If they properly report and inform, they ensure gross abuses don’t happen. If they (as they have been increasingly doing for 30+ years) abdicate their responsibilities in favor of ratings and “access”, trying to force events into a “narrative” then they not just allow, but actively bring about the situations we see today: incompetent and vile people put into positions of power and never held accountable for their actions.