EP – Bob Woodward wrote a scathing rebuke of President Trump’s management style that he says causes mayhem in the White House.
Byron York explained Woodward’s modus operandi:
Bob Woodward’s new book Fear: Trump in the White House, is filled with extended accounts of behind-the-scenes conversations between major players in the Trump campaign and administration. There’s no need to give examples; almost every page has dialogue that is presented, in quotation marks, with the implicit assurance that the author knows precisely what was said.
Of course, Woodward did not hear every word uttered by every character in the book. So any reader would ask: How does he know exactly what they said?
Woodward anticipated such questions in a note to readers, explaining that, “When I have attributed exact quotations, thoughts or conclusions to the participants, that information comes from the person, a colleague with direct knowledge, or from meeting notes, personal diaries, files and government or personal documents.”
Woodward’s note raises an obvious question.
If Participant A, for example — whether it was Kellyanne Conway, or Steve Bannon, or Gary Cohn, or someone else — told Woodward what he or she said in a particular conversation that occurred months earlier, how could Woodward be confident that they recalled just what was said?
So even if Woodward accurately recounted what Participant A said she said, how could he, or anyone else, be certain that that is what was actually said?
Shouldn’t Woodward have written that this is what Participant A recalled about a conversation, rather than this is the conversation?
At best this can wind up being misleading and at worst it would completely misrepresent the facts. Think of the way two people who engage in an argument, later remember what started it differently.
Now add steroids to this by hiring and bringing together the most entrenched advocates for their political views and letting them have at it. Add in the egos involved that accompany high level appointees and you have a mix rife for conflict.
President Trump is known for his desire to engage all viewpoints before making decisions. When he does make a decision, it invariably ruffles someone’s feathers. Gary Cohn is a case in point.
As the high-powered president of Goldman Sachs, Cohn was used to getting his own way. It was surprising when he accepted a position in Trump’s cabinet because their views on key, significant issues diverged immensely.
After President Trump decided to exit the Paris Climate Accord, something Cohn had been 100% committed to, Cohn exited the White House.
There was much made of many similar departures. The mainstream media used the personnel turnover to create the narrative that the White House was in disarray. Not so, unless the departure of super-inflated egos could be called disarray.
Similarly, as Trump began clearing out Obama holdovers who were caught undermining the president, the media represented this as further proof Trump’s White House was crumbling around him.
So what of Woodward’s claims that members of the Trump administration were at war with each other and with the president?
Robert Donachie writing for the Washington Examiner:
Former White House economic adviser Gary Cohn said Tuesday that he does not believe his portrayal in journalist Bob Woodward’s new book is an accurate depiction of his time in the administration.
“This book does not accurately portray my experience at the White House,” Cohn told Axios on Tuesday. “I am proud of my service in the Trump administration, and I continue to support the president and his economic agenda.”
This is played out over and over again in Woodward’s writing and the responses to those writings by White House departees.
Woodward is a master of citing anonymous sources – a detestable practice the mainstream media has also employed to undermine President Trump – in order to advance his agenda.
However, when he’s pressed for details and proofs he offers nothing substantive because he can’t.
That why it comes as no surprise that when Woodward was asked by radio host Hugh Hewitt:
“Did you Bob Woodward hear anything in your research or your interviews that sounded like espionage or collusion?”
Woodward’s response came as no surprise to Trump’s supporters:
“I did not. Of course I looked for it, looked for it hard.”
Then Woodward returned to spreading the innuendo that has been red meat to leftists who, for some reason, oppose putting America first:
“We’re going to see what Mueller has.”