Why is Bob Woodward's new book "Fear: Trump in the White House" making so many waves، in Washington، across the U.S. and around the world?
It's not that the portrayals of Trump — erratic، dishonest، spiteful، bigoted، xenophobic، sexist and dangerous — are new. Major political reporters have been telling us that since the beginning.
Author Michael Wolff wrote the same things in his book، "Fire and Fury." Oramosa Manigault-Newman's observations، in her memoir about her year in the White House، were remarkably similar.
Both those authors are respected. But they're not Bob Woodward. He is، without question، the pre-eminent political reporter on presidencies and the White House. In 1972، as a young reporter at the Washington Post، he teamed up with Carl Bernstein، and together they did most of the reporting on the Watergate Scandal.
Ari Fleischer، former press secretary in the George W. Bush White House، tweeted: "I've been on the receiving end of a Bob Woodward book. There were quotes in it I didn't like. But never once — never — did I think Woodward made it up. Anonymous sources have looser lips and may take liberties. But Woodward always plays it straight. Someone told it to him." And this from someone who has not hesitated to defend Trump in the past.
In case you've somehow missed it، here are some of the things Woodward says the president said. Keep in mind، Woodward is scrupulous and certainly has records to support everything he reported. He is used to defending himself in court and in the court of public opinion.
He recounts an exchange between Donald Trump and Secretary of Defence Jim Mattis. In it، Trump calls for killing Syrian President Bashar al-Assad after his regime murdered over 80 people with chemical weapons in April 2017.
"Let's (f'ing) kill him! Let's go in. Let's kill the (f'ing) lot of them،" Trump told Mattis، referring to Assad and his forces.
Trump's own chief of staff، John Kelly، reportedly called the president an "idiot" and said in a meeting with a small group that Trump was "unhinged."
Defence Secretary James Mattis reportedly said Trump had "the mental ability of a fifth- or sixth-grader" after he asked what the use was of early warning systems in Alaska to identify a nuclear attack from North Korea.
Trump reportedly called Attorney-General Jeff Sessions "mentally retarded" for recusing himself from the Russia probe. "He's this dumb Southerner... He couldn't even be a one-person country lawyer down in Alabama،" Trump said.
Trump's staff reportedly regularly keep information from him، and remove documents from his desk، to protect the country from his rash actions.
Trump and his current staff deny all the incidents، which is what you'd expect. But keep in mind، this is an author whose reporting has been unassailable throughout his career. His Watergate work brought down a corrupt president.
And most damningly، his depictions closely match many others. Trump is not fit for office، and it's up to Republicans and Congress to do something about it.