The title quote is from former Senator Claire McCaskill’s rant on Nicolle Wallace’s program last week after the Trump-Woodward tapes dropped. McCaskill was referring to Trump’s bone-headed conceit that he could “turn” Bob Woodward (with his personal charm?) and wrest positive coverage from him.
McCaskill was astounded that even a man not noted for his intelligence (except by himself) would agree to multiple interviews with Woodward in an election year, particularly since Woodward had already written one negative book about the Trump administration.
Boy, was McCaskill right. CNN obtained some more tapes. Here are a few highlights of their breaking news reporting on that:
CNN has obtained excerpts of the 10-minute conversation, which show Trump was more focused on the economy than the public health crisis. As the two debated Trump’s response to the pandemic, Trump finally asked: “So you think the virus totally supersedes the economy?”
“Oh sure. But they’re related, as you know,” Woodward responded.
“A little bit, yeah,” Trump replied.
“Oh, a little bit?” Woodward asked.
“I mean, more than a little bit. But the economy is doing — look, we’re close to a new stock market record,” Trump said.
Also, since experiencing blowback from the content of the calls, Trump has claimed the conversations were brief and implied that it was Woodward who was doing the dialing. That was a big fat lie: seven of the calls were placed by Trump to Woodward, and there’s a total of 10 hours of recordings.
Throughout their 18 interviews for the book, Trump sought Woodward’s approval, repeatedly asking Woodward whether he was going to write a “good book.” The lobbying continued in their final conversation, when Woodward noted that one of Trump’s accomplishments after the book had gone to press — the agreement to normalize relations between Israel and the United Arab Emirates — had earned Trump rare praise from New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman, who has been repeatedly critical of Trump.
“Tom Friedman? That’s nice,” Trump said.
“Isn’t that something?” Woodward responded.
“He’s come a long way. The next one I need is you,” Trump said. “But it looks like I don’t have it on this book, but we’ll get you sometime later, I guess.”
No. No you won’t, dummy.