President Trump, Donald J Trump, Washington Post discussed on Recode Decode

Recode Decode


So that it's misleading. It's not about the campaign. It was about adoptions and he he basically makes his son issue the statement statement. He's warned by his attorneys. There are emails that are gonNA come out and Congress in the next several weeks to months that show. That's BS right. Don't put it that that way but as one person said to us that's an eternity. Donald trump he wants to win today. He doesn't care about the fall or the late summer. He wants to win this moment right so we just did it he just well. It's like hello. He lied essentially like E. Everything is is an opportunity not to tell the truth or maybe tell the truth or whatever works in the second one he doesn't care and and you know what his supporters don't care either The Washington Post fact checker. has this running tally from the president's statements over sixteen thousand now it is an extraordinary Mary number and the pace is increasing. Which means he's lying even more now than he did? In the first year the presidency and yet the tens of millions of people who are part of Magi nation and go to his rallies and are going to vote for him in November could care less if he's telling you why it is because all parts all politicians lie. So what's the difference at least stike after. But he's Mike after essentially yeah and he's my champion and he's taken it to the to the man so to speak and in Washington swamp and they view him as advancing their cause whether he likes. Yeah I mean he's an sob but he's my sob fighting for them. And and lots of times when we you know at the post talk to his supporters and say but you know you actually tried to fight against Obamacare that protected you if you had pre existing listing conditions you know some people would argue his State of the Union address where he talks about that a lot. The other night was full of exaggerations and lies When you ask voters like well what do you think they're like? Yeah but it doesn't matter it doesn't matter He's he's such a great guy he's really. He's finally saying what I believe and we need someone to do that. All right so getting back to the reporting of the book so you here you are getting all these people to talk to you. Were you surprised during the process feels what feels like. It's written like that. Like what like thank. No actually yeah I mean there are so many moments that were surprising to fill in to me example. I mean the the president didn't know so literally turned to his chief of staff on his first trip to Asia stops off in a why is about to go visit the memorial essentially to make had a big story. Yeah at Pearl Harbor. And he turns his chief of staff and says John What what's his Pearl Harbor. What's this all about? He knows there was a battle at Pearl Harbor. But he doesn't know it's this this incredibly historic moment that propels us into World War Two and That lack is in curious that yeah some people as as narrowly educated. Some of his aides told us he's dangerously misinformed but he also just doesn't take briefings so But here he is in that setting other things that shocked us. I mean just how upset his senior aides were and how worried they are and how lucky they feel. We haven't had a real crisis racists. They I've heard that a lot from people inside the White House. I don't cover the windows but I'm surprised by how much people who've been there say to me and I don't even like I covered. I'm like hi I cover tech heck but keep vomiting up your information It is out of worry if I'm not here something bad's going to happen It's a really interesting thing and yet nothing bad. Has Things bad about these like today alone. Three to their drilling and all the stay in the national parks that nine eleven or a major world altering event that he has to respond to and deal with and it's one of the reasons why John Kelly stayed in that job the most miserable job in any presidency but especially this one to be. Yeah she for staff at the White House and he stayed for so long because he saw himself as protecting the country from a president whose decisions are made. Rashly and impulsively we. So that's kind of an issue with people that were inside because the people who talked to you on some levels I've had discussions with many of these people and I'm like well. Then say something like if you see something say something and now they talk to you guys but again. It doesn't have the same if it's on the record like John. Kelly is a good example. mcmasters another good example. People who have issues who are quietly leaking the John Bolton and we'll get to him in the next section quietly leaking these things out. But it's in that sneaky Washington way that doesn't have any effect anymore. We're not identifying sources. Mrs Yes want to stress that but the people who did speak to US I mean. They revealed a lot about their motivations. I think very honest with us about. Why was this issue of history tree that Phil described? Look you're GONNA get it. You're going to get it right so I want to be part of you getting it right number. Two the reason they WANNA be anonymous. They see the president's power to come after anyone who speaks truth to him they see his ability to humiliate and tarnished reputation to ruin. Someone's John's resume forever. People who went to work for this president who cannot get a job because they went to work for them so imagine if they went to work for him and he's coming after them who who is going to hire you there. There's a lot of anxiety about that. I I also found it interesting. There are people that are much lower down the chain who who agreed to speak to two US Anonymously and would normally run like crazy from reporters. It's not. They're not their thing. But in national security and intelligence world's they're agreeing to talk talk to us because it's so upsetting right because they don't because they have these jobs that are that they do you know that they have a lot of regard for that they think is important to keep having kept the peace over the years years and this is a system that tends to work despite patriots. Yeah so when you are doing this when you're writing this book. What was your dealings with the trump administration on this going back to them? Well we got a loaded thing. There was the Dono Pearl Harbor. There were there. Were like six or seven things that are just appall and you're talking specifically about the representative has ended the president. Well you know. We wanted to interview the president himself at all of this. He initially agreed to do an interview. Actually I spoke to him on the phone and he said come on and you guys are serious reporters. It's going to be a serious book. I want a book like this done. I'd be happy to talk to you. And he Pulled back that agreement because the hostility estimate between him and the Washington Post and the press corps writ large had gotten so extreme like so in the final months of our reporting. We probably weren't going to interview the president but we wanted to get his perspective on things we wanted to fact check everything in the book involving him. We tried to do that with the White House. We gave them more than a month to get back to us with substantive wanted answers to the episodes that we recounted and his spokespeople in the White House were unable to provide any substantive answers why We're not sure but the truth is they. They did not engage the way a normal functioning oppress operation. Wouldn't they thought they would meeting. Oh we wanted thank you. We wanted to give them a good faith chance to do this but we did verify everything in the book with everybody else. And if somebody's in the book they had a chance camps to To corroborate or to correct or to ten on tests or deny the quotes that are in there and the scenes that are in there all right so when you were doing this and ca explain why you call it a very stateful genius you know. A lot of people take issue with suspicious the president. Hey we have heard the president restarted. Well exactly word. Go fish whatever you'd have to say it and I felt strongly like let's use his own words. We came to this title saying it was good but also could be great migrate Unmatched Wisdom Genus. We we felt it was important for doing a portrait of the man. Lots of people write about this guy. How many thousands of people write about Donald Trump? Whether it's in a book or a newspaper reporting every day people are writing about Donald Trump. But if we're GONNA do a portrait of him let's use his description of himself. We wanted to stress test this definition with the people who know him best standard. His shoulder advise him on the decisions visions of war peace domestic prosperity You know the the border and they didn't in large measure believe he was stable and they did not in large measure. Believe he was a genius. However you know in stress testing it in holding that mirror up to Donald Trump we did find some people and some characteristics that show? He's a genius in some ways. He hot mess. He's a hot mess. taught us he's also a master marketer. Look at look at his success. This is a man is just as we've described who triumphed over a criminal investigation that found substantial evidence. He obstructed a criminal probe. Most people go to jail for that. He triumphed over or a impeachment process. Rapidly uncovering facts that showed he tried to engage a foreign power in investigating an American citizen. he triumphed in is has been acquitted and he and his supporters Lovin well except you look at his history. That's what he's GonNa History. This has been this has been a history of a person gets out of scrapes either. Because he was a rich kid or he's just brazen casinos. They're all wet but bottom up he left With all of his pockets full and all of his partners were in debt. He wants to handle that. Some paid. How many bankruptcies yeah but it works not to pay people it works? I see that's the issue is like everyone's like I can't believe it one the things. I'm fascinated by if you know this about me. But I've watched every episode of the apprentice. So I get this whole thing. He's not stupid everyone's like stupid. I'm like no he's not like no. No it's something episode so every episode I. I know how this is going to come for him. The ratings were down. That's what happened. In the apprentice. The stories get ever shittier and the narrative suck and then you get tired of them. That's what happens just saying maybe the next epilogue epilepsy may be just fine. You know and he'll be he'll be laughing all the way the bank but when we get back around and talk about what. It's like to work in the Washington Post where we're GONNA go from here with your book because like nine hundred things have happened since your but your book is now in case you're interested and how you deal with this onslaught onslaught of constant Twitching we'll talk about twitter and a bunch of other things when we get back. We're here with Carol and Phil Rucker From The Washington Post. Their new book is called a very stable genius. Donald J trump's testing America. We're going to take a quick.

Coming up next