When Bob Woodward proposed a series of on-the-record interviews, President Donald Trump, much to the journalist/author’s astonishment, agreed.
This was after Woodward had already published 2018’s Fear: Trump in the White House, chronicling the president’s erratic and unpredictable behavior as observed by his aides.
“When Fear came out, Trump denounced it as fiction, and that I’m a Democratic operative,” Woodward said on Tuesday’s edition of The Catalyst Sessions. “A number of people went to him and said look, this (the book) is all true.
“And he doesn’t really read books, I don’t think …”
Woodward, who along with fellow Washington Post journalist Carl Bernstein famously brought Richard Nixon down with their dogged reporting of the Watergate scandal, was ready and waiting.
“(Trump) agreed to talk,” the two-time Pulitzer Prize-winner explained. “And I had time to prepare questions, but he would call me spontaneously at night, so I had to carry a little tape recorder around in my pocket, have one by the side of my bed, one in the kitchen and one in my office.
“He would call out of the blue, just checking in. Then he’d say ‘I can’t talk long,’ but then sometimes he’d talk 20 minutes, 40 minutes.”
The result was Rage, which paints – largely in the president’s own words – an unflattering portrait of the current occupant of the White House.
On this extraordinary Catalyst Sessions, Woodward discusses Trump’s thoughts on all the hot-button issues of 2020, including the Covid-19 pandemic, the Black Lives Matter movement and all that it signifies, the upcoming election and more.
Wednesday on The Catalyst Sessions: Tom White, the longtime owner of Skipper’s Smokehouse, on his decision to sell the Tampa landmark and go fishing.
Streaming weekdays at 7 p.m. on the Catalyst Facebook page. All episodes are archived on our YouTube channel.