President Trump says he spent some of Monday evening reading journalist Bob Woodward’s book — and was not impressed.
Speaking to Fox News’ “Fox & Friends” Tuesday morning, the commander-in-chief remarked on Woodward’s tome, titled “Rage,” after being asked why he spoke to the Washington Post editor.
“I assumed he was a little bit fair, I didn’t do it previously. He only writes bad books, and I actually got to read his last night — I read it very quickly and it was very boring,” the president told the network.
Asked further about the decision and whether his reporting was accurate, Trump said Woodward’s work was just “okay” before defending his own conduct, explaining how he did not want to create a panic.
The commander-in-chief then turned to Carl Bernstein, the veteran journalist whose explosive reporting with Woodward brought down the presidency of Richard Nixon.
On CNN Monday, Bernstein called Trump “a homicidal president convening ― purposefully ― a homicidal assembly” to get himself reelected, referring to Trump rallies.
When asked to respond to that statement, Trump pounced on the journalist.
“Well, I mean, I know Carl Bernstein a little bit, he’s a nut job. He’s been a nut job for many years. He was the second, second wing. I don’t have a lot of respect for either of them frankly. But he was a total nut job and I see him. And he’ll say anything, no matter what you did,” the president told the network, “Like today I’m doing a great deal with Israel — Israel and the UAE and Bahrain, everyone said it was impossible. No matter what you do with some of the fake news, it doesn’t make any difference. This one is great, so it’s sort of interesting.”
Trump then touted his two recent nominations for the Nobel Peace Prize before turning back to both Woodward and Bernstein.
“Carl Bernstein is a dummy, and he’s a dumb guy, and Woodward’s book last night I read it, it’s like lightweight reading and he doesn’t get it.”
Woodward interviewed Trump on over a dozen occasions for a total of nine hours in an on-the-record capacity while working on the tome.
During some of those interviews, which took place in February and March, the president told Woodward that he publicly downplayed the coronavirus pandemic in order to not cause mass panic.
“To be honest with you, I wanted to always play it down,” Trump told the veteran journalist. “I still like playing it down, because I don’t want to create a panic.”
The president has faced considerable scrutiny for his ‘admission,’ however, speaking to reporters at the end of March, the president was open about his strategy of maintaining calm for the sake of Americans’ well-being.
“I read an article today, which was very interesting. They say, ‘We wish President Trump would give more bad news. Give bad news.’ I’m not about bad news. I want to give people hope. I want to give people a feeling that we all have a chance,” Trump told a reporter who pushed back on his handling of the virus at the time.
“I want to give people a feeling of hope. I could be very negative. I could say, ‘Wait a minute, those numbers are terrible. This is going to be horrible. This is a horrible thing,’” he continued.
The commander-in-chief then doubled down on his point, saying those in the media who wanted him to take a more negative approach were looking at the issue incorrectly.
“I want to be positive. I don’t want to be negative. I have to — I’m a positive person. Somebody said, ‘Oh, I wish he’d be more negative.’ They literally have that; it’s in one of the wonderful newspapers today. ‘I wish he’d be more negative.’
“You know, I’m a cheerleader for the country. We’re going through the worst thing that the country has probably ever seen. … So there’s nothing positive, there’s nothing great about it, but I want to give people in this country hope. I think it’s very important,” Trump said then.
News anchor broke beer bottle on man’s head during argument
A South Carolina TV news anchor smashed a beer bottle over a man’s head during a heated spat over politics, police said.
Kamie Jo Roesler, a 28-year-old morning news anchor for WIS-TV in Columbia, got into an argument with the 32-year-old victim while sitting outside Sunday in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, the Argus Leader reported.
“We had a few people that were there and two of them began arguing,” police spokesman Sam Clemens told reporters Monday. “They know each other; they’re not in any type of relationship. The victim said that it was some type of political argument.”
Roesler allegedly grabbed a beer bottle and swung it at the man, cracking him in the head.
The victim, from Colton, South Dakota, refused medical attention at the scene for a cut to his face, saying he would see his own doctor for his injuries.
But it “looked like he was probably” going to need stitches after the assault, Clemens said.
Roesler was arrested on a charge of aggravated assault.
The victim didn’t provide any other details about the argument, Clemens said.
Roesler, who joined the South Carolina station more than a year ago, is originally from North Dakota. She previously worked for KSFY-TV in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, WIS-TV reported.
Brad Hyatt, the station’s news director, declined to comment when reached Tuesday by The Post.
BLM leader who plowed through protesters says she feared for her life
The Black Lives Matter protester charged with attempted murder in California for plowing through a crowd of Trump supporters insists she feared for her life — and only hit the gas after police ignored her pleas for help.
Tatiana Turner called 911 when she was surrounded by a hostile group of counter-protesters — some with firearms — during the “Caravan for Justice” protest she organized in Yorba Linda Saturday, her lawyer claimed.
She appealed to deputies at the scene — and only drove off after she “got the runaround” and her pleas for help were ignored, her attorney, Ludlow Creary II, told the Associated Press.
“Sheriff’s deputies on scene didn’t do anything and the crowd of Trump supporters grew,” Creary said. “It essentially was a hostile environment.”
Turner, 40, left a man and woman hospitalized with injuries as she drove through the crowd, as caught on video.
“She wasn’t trying to hit anybody,” Creary insisted. ”She wasn’t trying to hurt anybody.”
The sheriff’s department, however, said deputies did not think Turner was in danger when she accelerated into the crowd of people.
“It did not appear from the video we’ve been able to see that there was a direct threat,” spokeswoman Carrie Braun said.
“I wasn’t there and wasn’t sitting in the vehicle. I don’t want to say what she could, would or should have done. Clearly, any time an incident like this occurs it’s tragic for everybody involved.”
Turner is being held on $1 million bail on suspicion of attempted murder and assault with a deadly weapon. She faces her first court appearance later Tuesday in Orange County Superior Court.
With Post wires
Biden, Harris release tax returns hours before first debate
CLEVELAND — Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden released his 2019 tax returns Tuesday afternoon, just hours before his first debate with President Trump in Cleveland.
“The American people deserve transparency from their leaders, it’s why as of today, I’ve released 22 years of my tax returns,” Biden tweeted Tuesday, 48 hours after the New York Times published leaked portions of what it said were the commander-in-chief’s financial records.
The former veep and wife Jill Biden declared a gross income of $985,233 in 2019 and paid $299,346 in federal income tax, according to the financial disclosures published on the campaign website.
Accountants for the couple list Biden’s occupation as “executive” and Jill’s as “teacher.”
The 22 years referred to by Biden include the sum total of all the returns he has released over his decades in office.
Biden’s running mate, Kamala Harris, and her husband, lawyer Doug Emhoff, also released their tax filings Tuesday afternoon, reporting a taxable income of $3,018,127.
They paid federal income taxes of $1,185,628.
The Biden campaign has launched a full-scale attack on Trump after the Times reported Sunday that the billionaire property developer paid just $750 in federal income tax in both the year he won the presidency and his first year in the Oval Office.
The president pushed back on the reporting as “fake news” and insisted he had paid “a lot” to Uncle Sam.
The Times also found that for 10 of the last 15 years, the president paid no federal income taxes because his businesses posted hundreds of millions of dollars in losses.
Despite earning at least $434.9 million in 2018, according to his financial disclosures, Trump reported a $47.4 million loss in his tax filings.
The president’s campaign has pointed out that he paid taxes but then got credits issued against them for business losses and deductions.
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