President Donald Trump was reportedly thrilled to have the opportunity speak to famed journalist Bob Woodward, seeing it as a way to boost his standing among the Washington establishment.
The New York Times reports that Trump’s staggering 18 interviews with Woodward, who was working on his upcoming book about Trump titled “Rage,” came from both a desire to spin himself in a positive light and to find validation in having someone from the Washington elite profile him.
“Go ahead,” Trump reportedly told Woodward when worried White House staffers tried to cut the interview short. “I find it interesting.”
“I love this guy,” he added. “Even though he writes shit about me.”
According to the Times, Trump called Woodward for the 19th time in mid-August to try to get the reporter to mention his administration’s successful deal between Israel and the United Arab Emirates. However, it was too late to do so.
Ever since excerpts of Woodward’s book, due for publication on September 15, revealed that Trump knowingly lied about the severity of COVID-19 all the way back in early 2020, the President has tried to deflect the scandal onto Woodward.
“If Bob Woodward thought what I said was bad, then he should have immediately, right after I said it, gone out to the authorities so they can prepare and let them know,” Trump said during a press conference on Thursday.
However, the President still admitted that Woodward “is somebody that I respect.”