Five years ago, Donald Trump declared via Twitter, “Only the Obama [White House] can get away with attacking Bob Woodward.” Evidently, the Republican has changed his mind.
As regular readers know, Woodward’s new book presents Trump’s White House as a chaotic “crazytown,” led by a hapless and dishonest president, whose orders are often ignored, and who is tricked by aides who steal documents from his desk. The book appears to have gotten under Trump’s skin: this morning he called the book a “scam,” written by someone who used “tricks” to make the president look bad.
But to fully appreciate Trump’s perspective, it’s worth noting his conspiracy theories about the book. At a White House event on Wednesday, the president said, in reference to Woodward’s book, “Really, if you look at it, it was put out to interfere, in my opinion, at this time, with the Kavanaugh hearings.”
In other words, a legendary Washington Post journalist, and one of the nation’s leading publishers, Simon and Schuster, set out to interfere with Supreme Court confirmation hearings with a book that has nothing to do with the nominee. That’s plainly absurd, and it’s belied by relevant details. As Zack Beauchamp explained, “The date of publication for the Woodward book was announced before the Kavanaugh hearings were scheduled. In order to schedule around Kavanaugh, the book’s publishers would have needed a time machine.”
Undeterred, Trump rolled out a new conspiracy theory last night at a campaign rally in Montana.
“Ronnie Jackson, he’s a doctor, he’s an admiral. He’s actually the doctor that gave me my physical. And he said that I’m in great shape.
“And the Democrats and liberals, and deep state, they were very upset to hear that. So they got tougher and tougher, and they lied more, and they write more books now.”
I guess he deserves some credit for creativity?
As the president sees it, the former White House physician gave Trump a physical and the exam went well. The left, outraged by the president’s good health, felt compelled to write books critical of Trump as a way of dealing with their disappointment about his condition.
One of the takeaways from the Woodward book is that Trump may not be altogether mentally sound. Does the president think his conspiracy theories will help refute those concerns?