Trump in the White House

eBook - 2018
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Investigative reporter Bob Woodward describes life inside President Donald Trump's White House and precisely how he makes decisions on major foreign and domestic policies. Woodward draws from hundreds of hours of interviews with firsthand sources, meeting notes, personal diaries, files and documents. The focus is on the explosive debates and the decision-making in the Oval Office, the Situation Room, Air Force One and the White House residence.
Publisher: New York :, Simon & Schuster,, 2018
Description: 1 online resource (357 pages)
ISBN: 9781501175534


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Nov 30, 2020

Good book. Well researched and well written. If you pay attention even slightly to this man's horrendous impact on the US, then you have an idea of what is in here. If you need some convincing of his dangerousness, here ya go!

Jul 26, 2020

A glimpse into the whitehouse and Trumps character

Jul 07, 2020

First sentence in chapter 33: "It was not just the distraction of a wide-ranging Mueller investigation hanging over his head, but the constant media coverage that Trump had colluded with the Russians and/or obstructed justice, a real feeding frenzy--vicious, uncivil."

If that doesn't seem to make an awful lot of sense out of context, don't worry. It hasn't got any context, and it doesn't make much sense where it is. The next sentence reads, "The result, porter said, 'In some moments it was almost incapacity of the president to be president.'"

The text is not exactly demanding, and it is, in a sense, an easy read. But it's not easy to figure out exactly what is going on in the book. It is a collection of anecdotes and fragments, very loosely structured by time or topic. With occasional sentences that just don't make sense. It has the feel of something that would have benefitted from a good copy editor.

(I'm writing my own book right now, and Gloria said that some of it is fragmented. My only defence was that I said Woodward was even worse.)

Apr 28, 2020

4 stars. My son recommended that I read this book and I enjoyed the read. Bob Woodward is an investigative journalist and this was his book on the first few years of Donald Trump's Presidency, up until just before the release of the Mueller report. Full of anecdotes and facts, the chaos behind the scenes in the White House, due to the chaos inside the head of the President, although documented in the press before, takes on a new life in this book. A lot of water has gone under the bridge since this book was written but I think I understand more why things have happened around this President than I did before. An interesting read.

Nov 08, 2019

“The reality was that the United States in 2017 was tethered to the words and actions of an emotionally overwrought, mercurial and unpredictable leader. Members of his staff had joined to purposefully block some of what they believed were the president’s most dangerous impulses. It was a nervous breakdown of the executive power of the most powerful country in the world. What follows is that story.” So concludes the prologue of “Fear: Trump in the White House,” Bob Woodward’s nearly in-real-time document of the run-up to and first year-plus of Donald J. Trump’s presidency.

Woodward is not a sensationalist, and this is not a 357-page op-ed column damning the Trump presidency. On the contrary, drawn from hundreds of hours of interviews with firsthand participants and witnesses, nearly all of whom allowed themselves to be tape-recorded, “Fear” is long on facts, short on hyperbole, and is as sobering as it is terrifying. To paraphrase CNN editor-at-large Chris Cillizza when speaking about what “Fear” and other 2018 books and mainstream reporting reveal is that the Trump White House is “chaotic, dysfunctional, and ill-prepared” and is led by “a man hopelessly out of his depth in the job, but entirely incapable of understanding how desperately out of his depth he actually is.”

That is unless you’re a Trump supporter. Then perhaps you believe that Woodward, despite his impeccable credentials as one of our country’s most methodical reporters (dating back to Nixon and Watergate), is just another cog in the fake news wheel out to trash Trump. Or maybe you’re a Bannonite, thrilled by the prospect of blowing up the Old World Order. Or it could be one of a dozen or a hundred or a million other reasons, any of which seem sensible to you, all of which are mind-boggling, disturbing, and dangerous to me. Depending on the lens through which you read “Fear,” you will either see someone who has no business being president, or you’ll think there’s no way any of it could be true. In 2019, it seems impossible that we’ll ever again bridge the gap between those two extremes.

Three stars, then, seem like scant praise for a book that feels both important and necessary. If you, like me, have largely tuned out the news because, well, Trump, “Fear” may add detail or shading to events you’re already familiar with, but it won’t, in large part, tell you anything new. In that way, this book feels like something meant for future reference — after memories have faded, documents and notes destroyed, tweets deleted. In 20 years how will we look back on the 45th president of the United States? Will Trump have ushered in a new wave of American politics, one driven more by cult of personality and force of will than policy and diplomacy? Or will his presidency be an anomaly, a failed experiment in what happens when you hire someone wholly unqualified for, arguably, the most important job in America?

If the events in “Fear” have anything to portend, the former will certainly have disastrous and far-reaching consequences long after this administration from which it may be difficult if not impossible to claw our way back from. The latter, while keeping many of us, and much of the world, on pins and needles, will at least have been a temporary madness, a hiccup in the time-space continuum when the country, or at least enough of its citizens, was driven by a myriad of unsavory forces — backlash against our first black president and fear of its first female one, the jingoistic sentimentality of regressive politics, the meddling and malfeasance of social media — to make a counterintuitive, counterproductive, and potentially catastrophic choice at the ballot box. What will we choose next time: hope or fear?

Aug 31, 2019
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June 2019- July 2019

May 16, 2019

There is nothing to fear but fear it's self. This fearful fool must be removed from office before it is too late. Please act congress.

Apr 23, 2019

Ironically, I read this book just a couple of weeks before the contents of the Mueller Report finally reached the news. Episodes in the one mirrored testimony in the other. Woodward’s portrayal of Trump’s methods reinforces one of the report’s most jarring assertions: "The President's efforts to influence the investigation were mostly unsuccessful, but that is largely because the persons who surrounded the President declined to carry out orders or accede to his requests.” In the opening scene, economic advisor Gary Cohn and Staff Secretary Rob Porter hide a KORUS cancellation letter to keep the country safe from the “actions of an emotionally overwrought, mercurial and unpredictable leader.” In the final chapter, attorney John Dowd senses that investigators are “looking for the perjury trap” and “Trump had an overriding problem that Dowd knew but could not bring himself to say to the president: ‘You’re a fucking liar.’” Woodward’s valuable “day in the life” collection exposes the clear and present danger of a chaotic administration governed only by Trump’s short attention span and tantrums. Some day the competent members of the administration might not prevent a temper-tantrum by the morally compromised president and his cohorts from getting out in the world.

Shit-show confirmed. Woodward's book is a bit uneven (seemed rushed) but it does shed brighter light on the dim bulbs in charge and the few that had any brains or ethics or integrity that would soon quit or be fired. Alarming. Infuriating. Disturbing. Frustrating. Worrying.

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Nov 28, 2018

“They were trying to make policy on a string of one-sentence cliches.” - p. 127

Nov 28, 2018

“Trump gave some private advice to a friend who had acknowledged some bad behavior toward women. Real power is fear. It’s all about strength. Never show weakness. You’ve always got to be strong. Don’t be bullied. There is no choice.” - p. 175

Oct 06, 2018

But the president summed up his position on almost everything in an interview with The New York Times. " I'm always moving. I'm moving in both directions." pg 280.

Oct 06, 2018

Trump was determined to impose steel tariffs. "Look," Trump said, " we'll try it. If it doesn't work, we'll undo it." "Mr. President," Cohn said, " that's not what you do with the U.S. economy."
pg 274.

Sep 22, 2018

Throughout the book, Trump was quoted with numerous denigrating comments directed to White House staffs, Intelligence communities, Foreign leaders, political leaders etc. However, only a few inside the White House were named in the book who dared to go against Trump.
Below are the ONLY insiders who allegedly called Trump either moron or such:
Tillerson (moron), Mattis (sixth-grader) and Kelly (idiot.)
Below are the ONLY insiders who allegedly called Trump liar:
Cohn (liar), Dowd (thought so but did not say out loud.)
Trump believed the building conflict between the U.S. and North Korea was a contest of wills. “This is all about leader versus leader. Man versus man. Me versus Kim.”

Sep 22, 2018

Porter told an associate, “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.”
Kellyanne Conway became Trump’s campaign manager in August 2016 and coined the phrase “the hidden Trump voter. . . . There’s not a single hidden Hillary voter in the entire country. They’re all out and about.”
R. McMaster, Trump’s second national security adviser, considered Secretary of Defense Mattis and Secretary of State Tillerson “the team of two” and found himself outside their orbit. He believed Mattis and Tillerson had concluded that the president and the White House were crazy. They sought to implement and even formulate policy on their own without interference or involvement from McMaster, let alone the president. “It is more loyal to the president,” McMaster said, “to try to persuade rather than circumvent.”

Sep 17, 2018

90 quotes in goodreads already as of 12:20pm today. Suspect that most if not all the best ones are already included. However, it is important to add the author's "Note to Readers" which is not in goodreads yet:

Interviews for this book were conducted under the journalist ground rule of “deep background.” This means that all the information could be used but I would not say who provided it. The book is drawn from hundreds of hours of interviews with firsthand participants and witnesses to these events. Nearly all allowed me to tape-record our interviews so the story could be told with more precision. When I have attributed exact quotations, thoughts or conclusions to the participants, that information comes from the person, a colleague with direct knowledge, or from meeting notes, personal diaries, files and government or personal documents. President Trump declined to be interviewed for this book.

Sep 17, 2018

Here are a few not in goodreads yet... I checked:

Hope Hicks served as Trump’s press secretary during the campaign and became White House strategic communications director. Like many others, she tried and failed to rein in the president’s tweeting. “It’s not politically helpful,” she told Trump. “You can’t just be a loose cannon on Twitter. You’re getting killed by a lot of this stuff. You’re shooting yourself in the foot. You’re making big mistakes.”
White House counsel Don McGahn wanted the president to assert executive privilege in the Mueller investigation and resist handing over documents. Trump’s lawyer John Dowd disagreed and cooperated with Mueller in order to speed up the investigation. “We’d get a hell of a lot more with honey than we would with vinegar.”

Sep 17, 2018

This gem is not in goodreads but should be:

Ivanka Trump, the president’s 36-year-old daughter, was a senior White House adviser whose influence with her father was resented and resisted by others in the White House. Chief strategist Steve Bannon got into a screaming match with her. “You’re a goddamn staffer!” Bannon yelled. “You’re nothing but a f---ing staffer! You walk around this place and act like you’re in charge, and you’re not. You’re on staff!” Ivanka shouted back, “I’m not a staffer! I’ll never be a staffer. I’m the first daughter.”
This quote is partially in goodreads:

National Economic Council Chairman Gary Cohn formed an alliance with Staff Secretary Rob Porter and at times Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis to curb some of Trump’s most dangerous impulses. “It’s not what we did for the country,” Cohn said. “It’s what we saved him from doing.”

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