In August, Bob Woodward—the famed White House reporter who has the distinct honor of being half of an investigative duo that bought down a corrupt president—had just finished his manuscript for Fear, a look inside Trump’s White House.
The president had received word of the book’s existence and was reportedly annoyed that the book was about his White House even though he never got to speak with the writer.
According to Woodward’s account, he had tried to get the president to respond to his request for a sit-down interview. He’d contacted the president’s counselor, Kellyanne Conway, and several others including Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.).
The president claimed that he never got any messages. In fact, the president of the United States claimed that people who are paid to answer to him don’t tell him everything. So after reports surfaced that the president was annoyed that he wasn’t asked to participate in Woodward’s book, The Washington Post released an on-the-record recording and transcript of what can only be called a truly bizarre conversation that proves that the president did, in fact, know of the book and is essentially lying.
After some preliminary greetings, Trump claims that he never got a call or a message or any word from anyone about said book.
Trump: Well, I just spoke with Kellyanne [Conway] and she asked me if I got a call. I never got a call. I never got a message. Who did you ask about speaking to me?
BW: Well, about six people.
Trump: They don’t tell me.
BW: A senator. I talked to Kellyanne about it two and a half months ago.
BW: She came for lunch.
Then, Trump did this thing that he always does no matter with whom he’s talking, he changed the tone of the conversation by bringing up some really old shit and just harping on that.
Trump: Well, it’s too bad. Of course, you and I had a conversation a couple of years ago, and so that I think got you there a little bit. And we had a conversation many years ago, if you remember, in Trump Tower.
BW: Yeah, I do.
Trump: That has to be 20 years ago. And you were thinking about doing a book about me then, which is interesting. Who knew it would’ve been on this subject? Right? That was not in the cards at that time.
BW: That’s right. Well, I’m sorry, I . ..
Trump: I still remember that.
Trump is acting like he and Woodward camped together as boys or played high school basketball on the same team. Woodward wants to shout “We ain’t friends, son!” but tries his best to bring the conversation back to the book because he really doesn’t give a shit about 20 years ago.
BW: I spent a lot of time on this, talked to lots of people.
Trump: All right. Good.
BW: And as you know and are living, we are at a pivot point in history.
BW: And I would’ve liked to have done that, and I maximized my effort, and somehow it didn’t get to you, or ...
Then Trump does the other thing he does, which is to take the conversation into his imaginary accomplishments.
Trump: It’s really too bad, because nobody told me about it, and I would’ve loved to have spoken to you. You know I’m very open to you. I think you’ve always been fair. We’ll see what happens. But all I can say is the country is doing very well. We’re doing better economically just about than at any time. We’re doing better on unemployment maybe than ever. You know, I mean, if you look at the unemployment numbers, you’ve heard me say it. And we’re doing better on unemployment than just about ever. We’re having a lot of — a lot of companies are moving back into our country, which would’ve been unheard of two years ago. If the other administration or representatives of it had kept going, had kept — you know, if the other group had won, I will tell you, that you would have, I think you’d have a GDP of less than zero. I think we would’ve been going in the wrong direction. Because regulations are such a big part of what we’ve done, Bob.
BW: Well, I understand that point of view. And as you know, it’s also a difficult time where the political system and you and my business is being tested.
Woodward’s translation: I ain’t really trying to hear that shit, playa. Let’s get back to this lying.
Trump continues to “wish” that he could’ve talked with Woodward about the book, to which Woodward continues to show the number of hoops he jumped through trying to get the president to sit and talk with him.
BW: Well, I talked to Raj [Shah] [the White House Principal Deputy Press Secretary and Deputy Assistant to the President] about it. I talked to . . . I talked to Kellyanne.
Trump: Well, a lot of them are afraid to come and talk, or — you know, they are busy. I’m busy. But I don’t mind talking to you. I would’ve spoken to you. I spoke to you 20 years [ago] and I spoke to you a year and a half or two years ago.
BW: A couple of years ago, I understand.
Trump: And I certainly don’t mind talking to you, and I wish I could’ve spoken to you. But nobody called my office. I mean, you went through, I guess, different people. ...
BW: Well, Mr. President, how can I spend all this time talking to people and — like Kellyanne and Raj and Republican senators?
Trump: Who were the senators? No, they never called me about it.
BW: Senator [Lindsey] Graham said he had talked to you about talking to me. Now, is that not true?
Trump: Senator Graham actually mentioned it quickly in one meeting...
BW: Yes. Well, see. And then nothing happened.
Woodward translation: “Ahhhh, you lyin’! Why you lying?”
Trump: That is true. That is true. Well, that — no, but that is true. Mentioned it quickly, not like, you know, and I would certainly have thought that maybe you would’ve called the office. But that’s okay. I’ll speak to Kellyanne. I am a little surprised that she wouldn’t have told me. In fact, she just walked in. [to Kellyanne] I’m talking to Bob Woodward. He said that he told you.
Trump: About speaking to me. But you never told me. Why didn’t you tell me?
Trump: I would’ve been very happy to speak to him. All right, so what are you going to do?
BW: Well ...
Woodward translation: Stop acting like you wanted to talk when you know you ain’t want to talk! With your lying ass.
Read the entire transcript here.