Woodward: ‘People better wake up to what’s going on’ in the White House

Updated

Donald Trump hasn’t exactly been shy about sharing his concerns over Bob Woodward’s new book. The president has peddled some very odd conspiracy theories about the Washington Post journalist, in between a flurry of Woodward-related tweets – including four that were published just this morning, part of nine tweets on the author Trump has written over the last six days.

But Woodward doesn’t appear intimidated by the president’s latest tantrum. In a CBS News interview aired yesterday, the journalist reflected on what he learned after carefully examining the Trump White House. “You look at the operation of this White House and you have to say, ‘Let’s hope to God we don’t have a crisis,’” Woodward said.

“Fear: Trump in the White House” is Woodward’s 19th book, but he told CBS that his reporting on this project took him deeper inside a working White House than at any point in his lengthy career. “This one was in the belly of the beast,” he added.

When CBS’s David Martin asked, “And what did you conclude about the beast?” Woodward replied, “That people better wake up to what’s going on.”

This morning, in his first live television interview, Woodward went a little further.

Veteran journalist Bob Woodward said Monday in an exclusive interview on NBC News’ “Today” that President Donald Trump is “detached” from reality and jeopardizes American national security. […]

Woodward depicts widespread White House dysfunction in “Fear,” raising explosive allegations of a paranoid president whose own staff believes is unhinged and erratic.

“I’ve never seen an instance when the president is so detached from the reality of what’s going on,” Woodward told NBC News this morning. He added, “This has not been treated seriously enough…. The things – some of the things – that Trump did and does jeopardizes the real national security.”

I’ve read several Woodward books over the years – his career has spanned nine presidencies, including Trump’s – some of which I’ve liked more than others. But I don’t think I can recall a point at which Woodward seemed afraid of a president.

I don’t mean to suggest Woodward is afraid of Trump’s criticisms or pushback, because the opposite is true. By all appearances, the journalist is brushing off the White House’s offensive and defending his book on its merits.

Rather, I mean Woodward seems afraid of Trump’s instability, dishonesty, and the threats he poses to the nation.

After nearly five decades of covering White House administrations, it’s reached the point at which Woodward believes Americans “better wake up to what’s going on.” That’s just astonishing.

Update:  Don’t forget that Woodward will appear on The Rachel Maddow Show this week.