10 September 2020 16:39
Critics - including other journalists - have suggested that, if the president told him the virus was more serious than the public knew, he should have immediately told everyone, rather than saving the information for a book. President Donald Trump jumped into the debate over whether journalist Bob Woodward had a duty to warn the public about Trump's explosive taped coronavirus comments – and sided with the author he has accused of writing a 'hit-job.' 'Bob Woodward had my quotes for many months,' Trump tweeted Thursday morning, after defending his taped comments that the virus was 'deadly' stuff while also confiding that he liked 'playing it down' to avoid rattling the public. President Donald Trump said Bob Woodward didn't have an obligation to disclose his coronavirus comments because they were 'good and proper answers' His comments came after some media critics pounced on Woodward for holding back the extraordinary information for months, claiming earlier publication of Trump's private warnings could have saved lives. WHAT DONALD TRUMP TOLD BOB WOODWARD Tape recordings and extracts from the veteran Watergate reporter's forthcoming book Rage make a series of bombshell revelations. This is deadly stuff,' he said - but did not tell the public what he knew COVER-UP On January 28, Robert O'Brien told Trump coronavirus 'will be the biggest national security threat you face in your presidency,' and said: 'This is going to be the roughest thing you face.' Trump then told Americans it was 'under control' and would 'go away.' And on March 19 Trump said: 'I wanted to always play it down.
Dan Coats, the director of national intelligence, had 'deep suspicions' that Putin had something on him and 'could not shake them.' Dr. Tony Fauci called his leadership 'rudderless,' his attention span 'like a minus number' and said: 'His sole purpose is to get re-elected.' Jared Kushner - his son-in-law - said Alice In Wonderland is the key to Trump, saying: 'If you don't know where you're going, any path will get you there.' RACE RELATIONS Trump described the term 'white privilege' as 'drinking the Kool-Aid' and repeated his claim he had done more for black Americans than Lincoln, adding: 'And, honestly, I'm not feeling any love.' NUCLEAR SECRETS Trump used his private cellphone for late-night calls and revealed he had a 'weapons system' which Putin and Xi did not know about. 'Nearly 200,000 Americans have died because neither Donald Trump nor Bob Woodward wanted to risk anything substantial to keep the country informed,' Pierce wrote. Trump talked in private about the 'deadly' coronavirus in February, even as he was declaring to America it was no worse than the flu and insisting it was under control, according to Woodward's new book, Rage. Coming less than eight weeks before Election Day, the revelations in the book - accompanied by recordings Woodward made of his interviews with Trump - provide an unwelcome return of public attention to the president's handling of the pandemic. 'Addressing only issues of process, Woodward said that when Trump talked about coronavirus--"deadly stuff"--in their Feb. 7 interview, he (Woodward) didn't know where Trump was getting his information, whether it was true, and so on,' Wemple tweeted White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany said Wednesday: 'The president has never lied to the American public on COVID.
Woodward also told The Post that he didn't make any agreement with Trump to withhold his remarks until the book was published, which is often standard practice for journalists who are working on books and want their subjects to feel they can be more forthcoming than they might be for a news story that would be published the same day. David Maraniss, an investigative journalist and associate editor at The Post, tweeted that "the argument that lives might have been saved had [Woodward] reported this earlier is ahistorical." He also called the tapes of Trump's remarks "an invaluable public service." That's a question a lot of people are asking after the bombshell revelations from Woodward's upcoming book "Rage." In it, he quotes President Donald Trump from taped interviews as saying, among other astonishing things, that COVID-19 was worse than what Trump had been saying publicly, that it's transmitted through the air and that it is deadlier than the flu, even as Trump was dismissing the public health crisis publicly. "I wanted to always play it down," Trump told Woodward in an on-the-record interview, according to an excerpt from the book in the Washington Post, the newspaper Woodward has been associated with for years. The revelation President Donald Trump expressed serious concerns about the danger posed by the coronavirus outbreak, even as he downplayed the threat in public, drew outrage toward the White House and veteran journalist Bob Woodward for keeping the scoop quiet until the publication of his new book was imminent. Woodward defended his decision not to share the revelation sooner in interviews with The Washington Post and The Associated Press after details from his upcoming book, "Rage," were made public Wednesday.