Legendary investigative journalist Bob Woodward has a new book about President Donald Trump’s administration, and explosive excerpts, revealed by The Washington Post, paint a picture of a White House gripped by fear, loathing and chaos.
According to the book, titled “Fear,” Trump called Attorney General Jeff Sessions “a traitor,” and complained “everybody’s trying to get me” after he learned that Robert Mueller had been appointed special counsel to investigate Russian interference in the 2016 election that sent Trump to the White House.
Trump also called Sessions “mentally retarded.” And the president once phoned Defense Secretary James Mattis to say “Let’s f—ing kill him” after Syrian leader Bashar Assad launched a chemical attack on civilians, according to the book.
“Let’s go in. Let’s kill the f—king lot of them,” Trump said in one of the highlights of the 448-page book that was described in an article Tuesday in The Washington Post, where Woodward has long worked. “Fear” is slated for a Sept. 11 release.
Woodward says in the book that he conducted hundreds of hours of interviews with participants and witnesses in the conversations he writes about. He also had taped notes, diaries and government documents.
The interviews were granted on the condition of “deep background,” which according to Woodward meant that while he could write what happened, he could not reveals the sources of particular stories.
The Washington Post, in a separate article Tuesday, published a lengthy transcript of a call last month between Trump and Woodward, during which the president said, “I would’ve loved to have spoken to you” for the book.
Woodward replied that he had sought an interview with the president through about a half-dozen people, including senior presidential advisor Kellyanne Conway and White House spokesman Raj Shah.