The media is ablaze today with the Washington Post's exclusive explosive excerpts about the utter insanity in Trump's White House from legendary journalist Bob Woodward's yet to be released book, "Fear".
The excerpts are horrifying to read, and are perhaps the most damaging insight yet into the extraordinary dysfunction of Donald Trump's administration. Woodward's track record as an investigative reporter is virtually unimpeachable, and even the White Houses is struggling to refute the extraordinary claims.
Above all, the excerpts show that the human species is quite literally lucky to be alive given the president's kamikaze governing style. Trump isn't just portrayed as being reckless -- he is an active danger in the White House, so unstable and unpredictable that his staff no longer believe they are serving the country, but protecting it from the uncontrollable rage of a madman.
It is so bad that his staff, according to Woodward, are on the verge of collapse, unable to cope with the president's extreme dysfunction. They scramble from one moment to the next, desperately trying to maintain an appearance of professionalism while trying to keep the president focused on the most basic of tasks. He is described by his own senior people as a "fucking idiot" with the intellect of a "fifth or sixth grader".
Here are the most shocking parts of Woodward's book that have been released thus far as reported by the Washington Post, CNN, and Axios,:
Trump's Staff Are Terrified and on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown
From the Washington Post:
A central theme of the book is the stealthy machinations used by those in Trump’s inner sanctum to try to control his impulses and prevent disasters, both for the president personally and for the nation he was elected to lead.
Woodward describes “an administrative coup d’etat” and a “nervous breakdown” of the executive branch, with senior aides conspiring to pluck official papers from the president’s desk so he couldn’t see or sign them.
Again and again, Woodward recounts at length how Trump’s national security team was shaken by his lack of curiosity and knowledge about world affairs and his contempt for the mainstream perspectives of military and intelligence leaders.
Trump's staff are removing documents from his desk so he won't see them
Gary Cohn saw a draft letter he considered dangerous to national security on the Oval Office desk.
Cohn was "appalled" that Trump might sign the letter. "I stole it off his desk," Cohn told an associate. "I wouldn't let him see it. He's never going to see that document. Got to protect the country."
Cohn was not alone. Former staff secretary Rob Porter worked with Cohn and used the same tactic on multiple occasions, Woodward writes. In addition to literally stealing or hiding documents from Trump's desk, they sought to stall and delay decisions or distract Trump from orders they thought would endanger national security.
"A third of my job was trying to react to some of the really dangerous ideas that he had and try to give him reasons to believe that maybe they weren't such good ideas," said Porter, who as staff secretary handled the flow of presidential papers until he quit amid domestic violence allegations. He and others acted with the acquiescence of former chief of staff Reince Priebus, Woodward reports.
Woodward describes repeated attempts to bypass Trump as "no less than an administrative coup d'état."
His staff think he is an idiot
Trump's Former Personal Lawyer, John Dowd
Trump's former personal lawyer John Dowd describes the President as "a fucking liar," telling Trump he would end up in an "orange jump suit" if he testified to special counsel Robert Mueller.
Defense Secretary James Mattis:
Defense Secretary James Mattis met with Trump to discuss North Korea, and was so stunned by his interaction with the president that Woodward says he was "particularly exasperated and alarmed, telling close associates that the president acted like — and had the understanding of — 'a fifth- or sixth-grader.'"
Chief of Staff John Kelly:
According to Woodward, John Kelly believes Trump is an "idiot" who cannot be reasoned with:
"He’s an idiot. It’s pointless to try to convince him of anything. He’s gone off the rails. We’re in Crazytown. I don’t even know why any of us are here. This is the worst job I’ve ever had."
Trump is incapable of keeping story straight on Russia
According to Woodward, Trump's lawyer John Dowd tried to convince him that he would perjure himself if he gave testimony to Robert Mueller, and even put him through a mock interview to drive home the point. According to Woodward, Trump failed miserably, yet still believed he was smart enough to take on Mueller. Via CNN:
Woodward writes that Dowd saw the "full nightmare" of a potential Mueller interview, and felt Trump acted like an "aggrieved Shakespearean king." But Trump seemed surprised at Dowd's reaction, Woodward writes. "You think I was struggling?" Trump asked. Then, in an even more remarkable move, Dowd and Trump's current personal attorney Jay Sekulow went to Mueller's office and re-enacted the mock interview. Their goal: to argue that Trump couldn't possibly testify because he was incapable of telling the truth. "He just made something up. That's his nature," Dowd said to Mueller. The passage is an unprecedented glimpse behind the scenes of Mueller's secretive operation — for the first time, Mueller's conversations with Trump's lawyers are captured.
"I need the president's testimony," Mueller said. "What was his intent on Comey? ... I want to see if there was corrupt intent." Despite Dowd's efforts, Trump continued to insist he could testify. "I think the President of the United States cannot be seen taking the fifth," Trump said. Dowd's argument was stark: "There's no way you can get through these. ... Don't testify. It's either that or an orange jump suit." What he couldn't say to Trump, according to Woodward, was what Dowd believed to be true: "You're a fucking liar."
The revelations are beyond terrifying, particularly given the source. This is a sitting president with control over the nation's vast nuclear arsenal. The men and women around him have a duty to stop this insanity before it really is too late.
(Image via NY Daily News)