Should Bob Woodward have revealed his damaging info about Trump months ago?

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Not to be the bitchiest Cassandra on the block, but I knew this would happen as soon as we heard about Bob Woodward’s new book, Rage. I knew it would happen because it always happens – it’s the easiest thing to predict in any media/political conversation about Bob Woodward: how could Bob Woodward sit on damaging information for so many months? In this particular case, Woodward sat on information which literally could have saved lives. Donald Trump clearly knew the danger of coronavirus and he consciously downplayed it and lied about the danger constantly. And now 191,000 Americans are dead. Would it have made a difference if Woodward had come out in March and said “actually, Trump is lying to the public and I have the tapes to prove it”? We’ll never know.

Bob Woodward, facing widespread criticism for only now revealing President Donald Trump’s early concerns about the severity of the coronavirus, told The Associated Press on Wednesday that he needed time to be sure that Trump’s private comments from February were accurate.

In Woodward’s upcoming book on Trump, “Rage,” the president is quoted saying the virus was highly contagious and “deadly stuff” at a time he was publicly dismissing it as no worse than the flu. Woodward, the celebrated Washington Post journalist and best-selling author, spoke with Trump more than a dozen times for his book.

Woodward’s book, which comes out next week, draws from 18 conversations with Trump between December and July. During his AP interview, Woodward said Trump called him “out of the blue” in early February to “unburden himself” about the virus, which then had few cases in the U.S. But Woodward said that only in May was he satisfied that Trump’s comments were based on reliable information and that by then the virus had spread nationwide.

“If I had done the story at that time about what he knew in February, that’s not telling us anything we didn’t know,” Woodward said. At that point, he said, the issue was no longer one of public health but of politics. His priority became getting the story out before the election in November.

“That was the demarcation line for me,” he said. “Had I decided that my book was coming out on Christmas, the end of this year, that would have been unthinkable.”

Asked why he didn’t share Trump’s February remarks for a fellow Post reporter to pursue, Woodward said he had developed “some pretty important sources” on his own.

“Could I have brought others in? Could they have done things I couldn’t do?” he asked. “I was on the trail, and I was (still) on the trail when it (the virus) exploded.”

[From AP News]

I’m not going to defend Woodward, mostly because I think there were other options for him which would have been ethically and journalistically correct which would have had him revealing the taped conversations in April or May. But, again, this happens EVERY TIME Woodward has a book coming out. He’s always held onto valuable, timely and sometimes criminal knowledge and information for months and there’s always a conversation about whether or not that’s ethical. Frankly, he’s just doing it at this point for his book sales.

Also: if we focus so much on “why didn’t Woodward reveal this sooner,” we miss the larger conversation about how all of these ancient Republican a–holes were actively covering their asses and bitching and moaning constantly to Woodward. Donald Trump is one of those a–holes. He spoke to Woodward 18 times and apparently Lindsey Graham (Lady G herself) was the one who suggested it. Tucker Carlson spent some time attacking Lady G on his show. This is the Republican message at this point: of course Donald Trump lies constantly, but how dare anyone allow Trump to tell the truth to a journalist!

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115 Responses to “Should Bob Woodward have revealed his damaging info about Trump months ago?”

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  1. Sierra says:

    It won’t have made any difference in my opinion.

    • Darla says:

      Really? On February 7th Trump says, on tape, Covid is airborne. NOBODY was telling us that. One full month later Fauci is on 60 minutes telling Americans not wear masks.

      Yeah, it woulda made a difference.

      • Agirlandherdog says:

        No, I really don’t think it would have. People who were going to take it seriously were already taking it seriously. They were already listening to the actual experts and taking precautions. Fauci wasn’t telling people not to wear masks in order to downplay the virus, but because knowledge of the virus was constantly evolving.

        Almost 200,000 people have died, and there’s still a huge segment of the population refusing to wear masks or socially distance. The death toll grows every hour, and still they refuse to wear masks. There’s also a long history of people calling Trump out on his lies, with PROOF, and his magats still ignore the proof and take as gospel whatever lies and excuses come out of his mouth. So, no. I don’t think it would have made a difference if Woodward had released the info in February or March.

        I also think at this point, we need to keep the conversation on the fact that Trump lied, and continues to lie. He’s too good at turning the conversation away from his own wrongdoings, giving people a new target. And by pointing fingers at Bob Woodward, we’re doing his work for him. Is Woodward a jerk who cares more about his “scoop” than actually keeping people informed? Yes. But don’t let that distract from the real problem – Trump. All the outrage should be directed at him.

      • Darla says:

        I got plenty to go around, and I strongly disagree with you. My outrage isn’t on an agenda.

      • Sierra says:

        I don’t have anything add as Agirlandherdog gave a perfect reply.

      • Lemons says:

        It wouldn’t have made a difference. February was still early. Things really started shutting down in Europe in March and April. The US was not heeding the MANY warning signs coming from China and Europe even at that point.

        Trump would have just spun this into something else and his MAGA followers would have said something-something Chinaman virus, something-something-MAGA.

        Have you observed nothing from these awful four-eight years?

      • Case says:

        Darla, I’m with you that it would’ve made a difference, solely because of the airborne revelation. For months we wondered exactly how it spread, what the highest-risk environments were, etc. There were early questions of whether or not to wear masks (early as in March). If they knew this in February and didn’t tell us…yeah, that’s a big problem for me. I’m not talking about for the Trump cult, I’m talking about normal reasonable Americans who were confused by the different information coming out (which is understandable because we’re learning about COVID as we go, but it appears they knew it was airborne long before they shared that with us).

      • B n A fn says:

        I believe Fauci was told to make that statement on tv. I’m disappointed in Fauci that he fell for the pressure from the White House.
        Another thing the conman is saying he did not want to cause panic. The same person who is telling people the POC will be taking over their beautiful suburbs, the black people are coming, all he does is encourage fear in certain communities, you know where I’m talking about.

      • Tourmaline says:

        @Case. But it wasn’t a mystery how it was spread. It’s a coronavirus. It’s a respiratory virus. It’s called SARS CoV-2 because of similarities to the original SARS virus. That was all known from January. And publicized.
        Acting like Trump had secret info on this is BS.

      • Cate says:

        I agree, it would have made zero difference. His followers won’t believe anything that makes him look bad/devious, or if they do, they spin it in such a way that it’s somehow okay. Trump is shameless so Woodward suddenly popping up with a recording of Trump saying “it’s bad” would not have changed Trump’s public behavior (which is what really would have been needed to turn this around). Trump would not have suddenly started consistently saying “this virus is bad, take it seriously, please listen to the experts” just b/c Woodward had a recording.

        Maybe hearing that would have driven some people inside the WH to stand up to Trump, but we also see what happens to people who stand up to Trump: he fires them (if he can), he slams them on Twitter and tries to destroy their credibility, and his base falls for ALL of it. While I wish Fauci (for example) would have stood up to Trump more and been more vocal about the risk, I think he was also trying to thread a needle of making sure he was able to get *some* kind of message out, and if he had gone too far counter to Trump he would have been totally sidelined.

      • Dascha says:

        That’s just not correct. I knew covid was airborne in February because I had followed it since it emerged in China last December, and I knew to wear a mask because it was what they were doing in countries that had it early. I took a trip the week of February 7th and was terrified the whole time I was in the airport and on the plane. I didn’t need any American official to tell me anything because the information was already out there before it even hit America.

        This is a global disease, maybe the problem here is that Americans are so self-centered that they can’t perceive of learning about things any way except through their own experience. We are still having mask debates while so many Asian countries have used them for DECADES to avoid spreading illness. And it’s a respiratory illness, of COURSE it spreads by particles in the air. It’s why they were wearing masks early in Wuhan. It’s just so, so stupid.

      • Tiffany :) says:

        People who didn’t take it seriously…didn’t take it seriously BECAUSE of the President and his Administration’s comments. They took their understanding of the dangers from him. It WOULD have made a huge difference if he had let it be known it was very dangerous.

      • Pusspants says:

        @ agirlandherdog Thank you for putting the focus back on trump’s lies and failures, which is where it needs to be. He is the president and he lied about the pandemic. Sadly, I don’t think this will be sufficiently meaningful to uncertain voters (though I wish it would be!). The issue of Bob Woodward’s responsibility to release the info is certainly worthy of discussion at some point, but it is not even remotely close to being as important as the main issue that the POTUS lied to Americans about a pandemic.

      • Darla says:

        It’s funny because yesterday, when I tweeted about this, i added “if you are gonna @ me with how wise you are and you knew all along and you had to be stupid not to, save it for your diary or that person whose pants your’re trying to get in”.

        I should have added that here too. Today, Paul Krugman tweeted about just this, and he called it “savvy cynicism”. And he really blasted it. He’s pretty smart btw. Some people say anyway.

        What happened here is a travesty and crime across the board. Discussing how corrupt so many are including Woodward, does not distract from Trump. You can hold more than one thought in your head at the same time, after all, I can, and you all just got done telling me how much smarter you are than me.

        I am an American. I should have been advised by my government, government officials, CDC, and the American media. This cost lives.

        Thank you.

    • Mac says:

      Trump admitted the virus was airborne. For months Trump, Fauci, et al, told us it wasn’t. If Woodward had released that tape in March, we would have known the truth six months earlier and countless lives would have been saved.

      • Lightpurple says:

        No, because absolutely nothing would have been done differently.

      • Darla says:

        Says who Lightpurple? I would have done things differently. You cannot speak for all Americans. You are talking about Trump cultists, don’t conflate them with the majority of Americans.

      • Ash says:

        @Darla: Genuine question, why would it have made a difference for you? We all know Trump lies. We all knew when he was lying about this specific matter that what he was saying went against WHO advice – and, ultimately, against the advice of Fauci etc. I’m really interested to know why you would have acted differently if he, say, had said to follow WHO advice, especially given that you’re not a Trump voter.

      • Lizzie says:

        There would have been much more demand to ramp up N95 mask production. I was washing my groceries off at that time when I should have been wearing a mask. And I wear one now and I would have worn one then.

      • Arpeggi says:

        Trump saying it’s airborne doesn’t change much. Airborne has a different meaning for virologists and epidemiologists than it has commonly and truth is, in February, we weren’t sure about the minimal dose of virus needed to cause an infection (we still aren’t) and how easily it travels through aerosols (we have a better idea, but we’re still unsure since a prolonged contact seems to be needed)… Trump doesn’t understand those subtleties, he heard it could be transmitted through the air (which was known) and said airborne.

        Admitting to downplay the risks and not taking actions to make it look unimportant is a huge thing, it’s criminal! But it wouldn’t have influenced his partisans as they still don’t care about it now.

      • Lightpurple says:

        Darla, while you may personally have done things differently, very little outside your personal sphere would have changed. It is mid-September. We have not just learned that the virus is airborne, we have known for months but very little has changed. At the time Trump knew this, the Senate GOP had just protected him from impeachment. They refused to even hear evidence and the majority of them agreed that he did something wrong, they just didn’t think it was an impeachable offense because they don’t care. Those same Senators have treated his handling of the virus the same way. They would have put no pressure on him to do respond differently; they’re putting no pressure on him now. The attempts of governors to obtain PPE, ventilators, and medications for the medical providers and first responders in their states would not have improved because Trump was still interfering, outbidding, confiscating, and hoarding. And the governors who didn’t give a damn in February still didn’t give a damn in May when the dangers were much better known.

        I never pretended to speak for all Americans nor did I conflate them with Trump cultists. I am looking at how people are behaving now with the knowledge they have now; how governors like Kemp and Abbot and DeSantis behaved and continue to behave. We would still be looking at 200,000 dead at the end of this month because Trump would still be in control and those governors would still be fine with it. We knew in May that it was airborne yet people still flocked to big parties without masks or distancing. And again on the 4th of July. And again just last week.

      • Dascha says:

        Darla, you could’ve known and done things differently if you were paying attention to international news. Again, this “flu” was first reported in Wuhan in December 2019, and it was terrifying from the start. The CCTV footage of people collapsing in the street, the government locking people in their apartments to quarantine them, completely shutting down a massive city like Wuhan and tanking their economy. All of this painted a clear picture that this was a really, really nasty illness before February. You cannot look to this administration to tell you the truth about anything, ever. You have to do the work of learning about these things yourself.

      • Lizzie says:

        Govenors and mayors would have had the facts to do things differently or earlier. That opportunity was stolen. It would have mattered a great deal, the US didn’t have to handle this pandemic so poorly.

      • Pusspants says:

        @ Mac Fauci never said the virus wasn’t airborne. He did initially say that we didn’t need to wear masks. Those are two different things and his opinion has continually evolved as more about the virus became known through scientific study. I do wish masks were encouraged sooner, but don’t fault medical experts for making the best inferences they could with the info they had at the time.
        Now Trump is a different story & I do fault him for mishandling the pandemic since January.

    • Lemons says:

      Yep. Trump wasn’t done (and still isn’t) making money from this pandemic. He wants it to get worse before it gets better.

    • Queen Meghan's Hand says:

      It doesn’t matter. Only cowards fight battles they are 100% sure to win.
      Woodward should have made this public. The President of the United States admitted to him he and his administration and public health outfit were lying to us. Woodward is a horrible human for being complicit.

    • Betsy says:

      It wouldn’t have made any difference. Those of us who took it seriously did so from the start (though the airborne thing would have been nice to have had confirmed) and now that we know how serious it is, people are STILL pretending it’s not serious.

      It wouldn’t have made a hill of beans difference. The only time Trumpsters pretend it’s serious is when they talk about Trump cancelling some flights from China, as though he saved the free world. Otherwise they treat it like it’s just a regular head cold.

    • Bee says:

      Those saying it would have made a difference are wrong. Sorry. Too many Americans pay very little attention to the world around them, lack critical thinking and buy into conspiracy theories which WAS only worsened when you have a government void of leadership and unsuccessful social programs.

      It wouldn’t have changed anything because your system is broken. The places and countries that were successful enforced a lot of social distancing and closed a lot of normal functioning, paid people (enough to get by), have free healthcare or decent health care that wouldn’t bankrupt people, gave grants to business, and much more! This would have never happened in the states.

      Where I live the government has mandated masks be worn inside places and many have worn them for months- based on science and year of understanding how virus’s of any sort spread (close contact and often respiratory/droplets). The large religious sectors in different states will continuously berate and deny science- so how will have knowing it’s airborne in Feb have changed anything?

      America is a dumpster fire. I am absolutely terrified for my family that live there.

  2. Paperclip says:

    Woodward has always been a pr*ck, TBH. Per Kaiser, nothing surprising here…just more 2020 horrendousness.

  3. Edna says:

    Would it have made any difference? Who knows? Given how successfully Trump/GOP have politicized COVID it wouldn’t have mattered to his cult followers.

    • Darla says:

      Not to his cult, but to the majority of Americans? It would have changed things for many. Some who are dead today would have lived. I’m sorry this is indisputable to me. People saying otherwise are giving into the “nothing matters” hopelessness. they’re wrong. Things matter. They matter and that’s why today, it is impossible for Trump to win reelection. He can cheat, he can steal, he can strongman his way in, but he cannot win an election.

      • Tx_mom says:

        I have trouble believing it would have changed things — because I live in Texas and people here seem completely resistant to any factual information. No matter what happens or what this guy says or does, his minions are ready with a Nancy-Pelosi-as-the-Crypt-Keeper-getting-a-haircut-meme. People with cancer patients in their families defend our “liberty” to go unmasked. It’s very discouraging.

      • Mac says:

        Trump himself is on tape saying the virus is airborne and deadly. Yes, hearing this seven months ago, before the virus was politicized, would have made a huge difference.

      • Radioactive says:

        @darla, but he did win an election.

        I don’t think it would’ve mattered either. I think that if I’m watching the news and hear that a pandemic is in one country, it will spread so I better learn more and see what that country is doing to control it. And people travel to other countries which can cause an outbreak.

        I think many Americans believe our country is untouchable, that nothing will ever happen to us, and that’s just stupidity, ego and stubbornness.

      • Mac says:

        @Radioactive, Americans were unaware that Trump had fired the pandemic response team and thrown away the handbook. H1N1 and Ebola didn’t spiral into huge outbreaks because W and Obama made rapid response and containment of deadly diseases a priority.

      • BnLurkN4eva says:

        I think it would have made a difference in that some people would have started wearing mask earlier than most started. I remember going to the grocery store in April and most people weren’t wearing masks then and looking oddly at me for wearing masks and gloves.

        I disagree that Trump CAN’T win reelection. I think he absolutely can win because those who supported him then, supports him now and I honestly don’t trust some people who claim they hate him. I think many white people will vote for him in an effort to preserve their privilege.

      • Poisonella says:

        Totally agree. Same here -went to the grocery store early on, and out in the parking lot there was a guy coming out wearing a mask which made me feel less self conscious because it turned out we were the only ones! Walked by his car and saw he was a veteran too! Still wear a surgical mask all the time but only glove up when I go to the grocery store.
        People need to get out and vote. The people who voted for Trump are gonna do it again, because they’re racists and Trump is their creature.

      • Keekey says:

        I agree, Darla. I knew many people who were trying to figure out what to do about travel plans, working in the office, etc. in the February/early March time frame and they probably would have made different choices with more and better information (including Trump admitting the virus was deadly and airborne). People act like everyone who isn’t a Trump cultist knew exactly what was going on. That’s just not true.

  4. Swack says:

    While it’s the same sh!t different day, I believe it may make more impact now than say 3 months ago. It, hopefully will still be in the minds of the people come election day.

    • Agirlandherdog says:

      This. As I said upstream, the repug cult wouldn’t have cared, and by releasing it this close to the election, hopefully it will be fresh in the minds of swing voters come election day.

    • jaya says:

      Totally agree. Pile it on while people as people start to focus on who they will vote for. Do ya’ll read Heather Cox Richardson’s blog. She’s so on point every day.

    • Christin says:

      The timing is just before flu season, too. Maybe the message will get through to the deniers that this is not like regular flu and they should take precautions.

    • MaryContrary says:

      Exactly. People have short memories.

    • Case says:

      I sure hope so.

  5. SamC says:

    I’m torn, part of me thinks he should have released it earlier, the other thinks so many people grab on to the latest news cycle when making voting decisions maybe it’s better to have this come out close to when people will be voting by mail/early voting.

    Random note. JFK, Jr. and Bob Woodward were the speakers at my brothers college commencement. I remember most of the audience figured JFK, Jr, would be dull but hey, eye candy and Woodward would be dynamic and interesting. To everyone’s surprise, Woodward was boring and not at all inspirational while when JFK, Jr. spoke everyone was engaged and focused and not because he was incredibly handsome.

    • Christin says:

      Bob’s former writing colleague Carl would have likely been a better speaker. Bob is droning and boring in interviews.

      Ah, JFK Jr. He seemed to have great energy, in addition to his physical appearance.

      • Flamingo says:

        If we’re playing six degrees of separation, Carl’s ex wife, Nora, would have been just about the most engaging speaker one could see.

  6. grabbyhands says:

    “If I had done the story at that time about what he knew in February, that’s not telling us anything we didn’t know,” Woodward said. At that point, he said, the issue was no longer one of public health but of politics. His priority became getting the story out before the election in.

    Weak defense. It doesn’t matter that it’s true, that he held it back in order to boost book sales when it was released is still gross. I’m sure in his eyes, he’s still that brave, rogue reporter scooping the bus story, but he’s not.

    • Lucy says:

      Yeah, he became focused on getting the info out before the election. Oh no, how could he possibly do that? If only there was a feat way to instantly disseminate ideas and information! Too bad there’s nothing except… Books.

  7. Watson says:

    If he said something earlier I’m sure people wouldn’t have believed him. Unfortunately, America has an issue with believing anything unless someone they are close to experiences it.

    So was he selfish and gross about retaining this info? Yes. Did this lead to thousands of deaths? Not so sure. Ultimately, Trump would have discredited him, and his followers would have continued merrily without masks as per usual,

    I do appreciate the timing in some respects though. Maximum impact for the upcoming election… If there are still people on the fence after this revelation your country is doomed.

  8. Tiffany says:

    You know that guy, we all do, that still lives at home and wears his letterman jacket and goes to the bar to take about that play that won the high school a state championship….and he is now 50.

    That is Bob Woodward’s post Watergate career. It is not surprising he sat on verifiable proof that Casino knew this would kill people and did not care. Just like Bob.

    • Alexandra says:

      Nope, I worked at the Post in the 90′s and trust me that is not Bob Woodward. I think though there are way too many people out there who think he’s as you describe. Bob is your old fashioned journalist who was still running down stories when I left. Also, part of the reason he didn’t let out this information was he is an old fashioned journalist making sure all the pieces are together. However, I’m not sure if I was investigating Trump I’d believe anything the man said without corroboration since he lies so much. Bob likes the stories and has had several well written and investigated books and columns since Watergate. Sure none like Watergate, but unlike Carl he’s pretty much still working as a journalist. Smart people in Washington are a bit afraid of Woodward and certainly watch what they say to him. Honestly, Trump should be fired for having 18 taped conversations with Woodward after he already wrote one book about him which wasn’t too favorable. Trump’s such an idiot.

      I may be one of the few who like the timing of this. If anything it would be better in October, as it seems American’s have the attention span of gnats and this may make people vote. For this information from Woodward to have helped leaders would have to do something, and I don’t think they would have. Most knew this was happening and they still downplayed it.

      • Ohlala says:

        @Alexandra agree with you. Would prefer if it was revealed in October.

      • hunter says:

        Agree. What this says to me is ALL WORLD LEADERS were informed, via their various intelligence agencies, the virus was deadly and airborne.

        If Trump got this in his daily briefing, they all did. Including Boris Johnson who’s really done a poor job. More people should be looking at this as well.

  9. Lucy2 says:

    I wish he had released the info, whether or not it would’ve made a difference it’s hard to say, but at least there would’ve been a chance.

    I am truly astounded that Trump would call Woodward directly. Is he really THAT stupid?!

    • Christin says:

      Reports are that they spoke 18 or 19 times. This is probably just a tiny slice of what’s to come.

      Supposedly Orange thought he should have spoken to Bob when the last book was written. Now senior staff are reportedly blaming others, when the leader of the country should be able to discern what he can and cannot say, and to whom. He also riffed to Bob about some super secret nuclear capabilities.

  10. jaya says:

    Nope. Timing is perfect. Pile it on in the weeks leading up to the election, so people don’t forget or get distracted by the time they vote. I am getting the feeling Trump doesn’t know where to look – so much sh*t adding up right now. Bring it on…

    • Dascha says:

      I agree with you on the timing. Honestly, American is such an individualist country that I don’t know if we could’ve truly done what needs to be done to beat this. We don’t have a government willing to support us $$ wise while everyone quarantines, and too many people are fixated on “muh freedoms!” and won’t wear a mask. Collectivist countries like South Korea beat it quick because of that attitude that the group is more important than the individual.

  11. 10KTurtle says:

    Alternate universe where this tape was released in March: Emperor Orange still says exactly all the same things about how it’s a hoax and a plot against him and everybody behaves exactly the same way because he has lost every shred of credibility to the point that those of us who would take it seriously were already taking it seriously and everybody else pretended everything was fine. Congress would do nothing about it either way.
    Ethically, YES Woodward should have released the tapes, but I can’t imagine it changing anyone’s behavior because we live in the stupidest possible universe.

    • Alexandra says:

      Ethically, I’m not sure about this. First you are a journalist investigating Trump who you know lies more than anyone in the office ever has. How do you not know he is lying about this? It’s not like it’s beyond Trump to make something really dramatic to divert attention. Now once it gets to May-June and it seems obvious Trump wasn’t lying would it have helped to let the info out then. Not so sure cause by then people knew.

  12. nettie says:

    Yes he should have said something. It would have saved lives. Americans that actually voted for Trump would have worn masks and that would have made a huge difference. Trump made a calculated move and has tried to discredit the medical community. Look at that ridiculous bike rally that happened and all of the people infected. Trump made a callous, calculated move and Woodward is downright irresponsible. I hope his book tanks.

  13. LaraW” says:

    Pure speculation:

    I would say Woodward is stuck in the shadow of his own legacy and now fancies himself not as a journalist, but a historian. His reporting precipitated a series of unprecented historical events and I think he’s been living with that ever since. He tries to bridge an awkward divide between reporting on current events and putting them in some sort of pre-emptive historical narrative, inserting himself in that narrative by presenting an image that yet again, he stands as a truth bringer who presents the “real” sequence of events. Mostly I think he wants to be on the “right side” of history every time; if his book reveals things that lead to another unprecedented series of historical events, so much the better. Case and point- releasing this book two months before the election. I don’t think this is really about his book sales or duty to the public as a journalist- it’s an obsession with his own legacy.

    I guess there is some value to taking this long view. If he were to release the news immediately, his access and sources would probably have dried up pretty quickly. Allowing people to say incriminating things to a famous reporter and then allowing his sources to see that said famous reporter didn’t turn around to publish a daily scoop does engender a sense of trust, that the things said in confidence won’t be betrayed. I think it creates the impression that Woodward is a man with integrity who won’t sell out his sources, or something.

    Still, at the end of the day, I feel like he wants to remain relevant and continue to “make history,” but hasn’t caught up with the digital age. At this juncture, history isn’t being made in books of interviews- it’s being made in courts.

  14. B n A fn says:

    So, he’s tweeting now, that if what he said was so bad why did Bob Woodward not said something before. First BW is not president and 45 the lowest form of a human being I’ve ever known in my life. This morning I cried just thinking of all the people who have died when they should still be alive.

    If I know hurricane coming I want to be told so I can prepare for my family to stay safe. I would not want to be told the storm is not coming in order not to panic. I’m a big girl, I’m not a child, i can take bad news and prepare for the outcome. Btw, all I hear from the republicans are cricket, cricket. Anyone who votes for this sub human is worse than he is imo.

  15. MaryContrary says:

    Those of you saying that it would have made a difference in how the feds/Trump managed this disaster? No way. It was always going to be a chaotic, politicized mess-because that’s how they are. Zero discipline, communication, compassion. They would have spun it out like they do everything else. It would not have mattered one bit.

  16. smee says:

    The same could be said for Bolton or Cohen, the first two who come to mind, who could have testified or provided info earlier…

  17. emmy says:

    Someone help me out here. First of all, experts around the world were telling us how this was most likely transmitted as early as February. People could’ve listened to actual scientists. Second, is this even true? Did he know? Did anyone? As far as I know, scientists were debating this issue for quite some time and are, in fact, still trying to get a better handle on how long you have to be in the presence of someone infected, how much masks help (not if, just how much), how viral load plays into it and so on. Isn’t saying Trump knew for a fact in early February that it was airborne a bold assumption when the scientific community was still researching it at that point? Why are we believing anything he says at all anymore?

    • buenavissta says:

      I heard a CBC report this week stating that Covid was on authorities radar as early as December.

      • emmy says:

        I’m sure it was, the first death was reported in the German press on January 11th. But that’s not what I’m talking about.

    • B n A fn says:

      He said he knew it was deadly, listen to the tapes, stop making excuses for this lying conman. He is the a President he has information it was deadly as early as January, he said it, go back and listen to the tapes. When he was told we should wear face masks he discouraged his followers from wearing masks because he wanted to pretend everything was ok to keep the stock market high because he believed this was going to help him win the election.

      • Becks1 says:

        The parts about him admitting how deadly it was bother me more than the airborne part, TBH. He knew this wasn’t like the flu. He knew this was going to kill a lot of people, and not “just” old people. he knew, and he didn’t care. I really think he thought it would just affect blue states.

      • emmy says:

        Oh stop it. I am not making excuses, you need to read more carefully. I’m trying to get my facts sorted and it is absolutely possible that he was actually talking nonsense on those tapes and is now, in hindsight, accidentally right. Like Becks1 says below, he talk bs 90% of the time but suddenly we should take this at face value?

        If this was a known fact in early February, the scientific community has a lot to answer for. I’m not trying to excuse anyone but don’t you understand why Woodward may have not trusted his word without corroboration???

    • Becks1 says:

      @emmy – I think this is why Woodward made the comment about needing to back it up. Was Trump saying it was airborne as a matter of fact, or was he just speculating and talking out of his ass like he does 90% of the time? There’s a chance that if Woodward had released that part of the tape in February, the scientific community may have shot it down as not having enough information. I didn’t think it was confirmed to be airborne until later, although of course Trump was privy to information that we weren’t, which then becomes part of the point – if he knew this for a fact, it should have been publicized, and not just by Woodward.

      But why not release it in March or April? I get he wanted the “big reveal” for his book, but he could have released that one part of the tape to help a national health crisis.

      @Buenavissta – yeah, I think Trump was getting reports on it as early as December, it was definitely something being discussed.

      • B n A fn says:

        He said he knew it was deadly, listen to the tapes, stop making excuses for this lying conman. He is the a President he has information it was deadly as early as January, he said it, go back and listen to the tapes. When he was told we should wear face masks he discouraged his followers from wearing masks because he wanted to pretend everything was ok to keep the stock market high because he believed this was going to help him win the election.

      • Becks1 says:

        I listened to the tapes, please see my comment to you above.

        and LOL that anyone thinks I’m making excuses for Trump, ever.

    • Arpeggi says:

      Honestly, there’s still a lot we don’t know about this virus and are trying to figure out. For instance, we still have no idea what quantity of infectious particles are required to cause an infection. Even if some reports of a weird pneumonia started in December, scientists started to work on it in January, and we really started most of the work in February/March… So I’m not sure what Trump was talking about when he was saying he knew it’s airborne, he wasn’t using our definition of airborne for sure because we didn’t know.

      It’s still awful that he admitted to downplaying it and pretend it wasn’t a threat. That’s a huge issue and it means that the government couldn’t prepare properly. And that’s why more people died

      • emmy says:

        Yes, that was my point. He knew what the scientific community knew and they told us even if he didn’t tell the American people. I know he’s the president and people turn to him for information but this was 3 years in. Maybe consider your sources when making life and death decisions.

        I also don’t think he knows what airborne means exactly.

      • Arpeggi says:

        Yup! And like, it’s not like Trump doesn’t have a history of talking about stuff he knows nothing about…

        Not acting according to the information he had was terrible, it’s why the death toll is so high in the US and why there have been so many uncontrolled outbreaks. But as for the true nature of this virus’ epidemiology, he knew close to nothing back then because us from the scientific community knew very little and could only hypothesize based on SARS and MERS. He wasn’t privy to more information than scientists around the globe

  18. Als Em says:

    It’s not like America is in a vacuum. The rest of the world was and is dealing with the same virus. Everyone else in the world was saying that it’s airborne and dangerous. The death toll around the world was highlighting this.

    So I believe that the tape would not have made a difference.

    • Tourmaline says:

      Absolutely agree. No one needed Trump to notify them it was “deadly”. Look back to January and February. There was tons of coverage of what was going on in China.

      I hate Trump as much as anybody but I find this whole Woodward controversy very disingenuous.

    • Nic919 says:

      Exactly this. While Canada didn’t handle it perfectly, it was no secret that this was transmitted through air which is why mask mandates started happening in April and May in Canada.

      Did anyone actually believe that Dump didn’t know this? Did anyone actually believe his nonsense about it going away? Only the diehard cultists.

      Woodward isn’t the problem here but the sadistic monster that was elected as president. He’s the one who purposely killed 200,000 Americans.

  19. Leah says:

    It wouldn’t have made a difference and would have gotten lost in all the noise Trump and his followers were making about “a dem hoax flu”.

    I knew it was going to be bad in January from all the reports coming out of China and Europe. In February I did a Costco run on supplies and not three days later that’s when the great toilet roll hoarding fiasco started. Back then things were so chaotic nobody would have noticed Woodward’s tapes. Everyone was so caught up in saving self they were stepping on eachother to get the last container of clorox wipes.

  20. Marigold says:

    He is not revealing anything that we didn’t already know. Trump would deny and his base would believe.

  21. Lisbeth says:

    Of course Trump knew! I can’t believe people are shocked.

    • Tourmaline says:

      Right?! Why do people think him and everyone around him are tested constantly? He knows it’s bad enough that he doesn’t want to get it! All he cares about is being re-elected and his administration is too stunningly incompetent to manage a crisis so of course he has minimized this from the beginning. Duh.

  22. nicegirl says:

    I believe that it may not have done anything if he’d revealed things earlier but I wish he’d done so anyhow.

  23. Mellie says:

    If he was going to be a d!ick and sit on it, I wish he would have waited until about 2 days before the election since Trump supporters have the attention span of gnats….maybe this would have registered with some and changed some minds right before they went to vote. One can dream.

  24. Rapunzel says:

    Woodward releasing these tapes earlier would have simply been pointless for changing, imo. Trump would still have had the same press conferences. He still would have said the same stuff. The only difference would be he’d have said something like, “oh turns out what I said to Woodward was wrong.” Then later, he’d go back to this tape and say “see, I told you it was deadly, but the scientists told me I was wrong” and he would have discredited science even more. Especially Fauci.

    Now, would some people have worn masks earlier due to the airborne thing, as Darla said above? Could that have caused this to save lives? Possibly, but there was also the possibility that Trump would have had scientists deny it, and this tape could have been spun as Trump pretending to know science when he doesn’t. It might also have been spun as Trump trying to make himself look impressive by dealing with a “deadly” virus.

    Ultimately we can never know if it would really make a difference, even in our own personal actions because we can’t say how it would have been spun.

    Now, it’s being spun as Trump is liar. Which is good. And the death toll and his behavior makes it worse. That wasn’t there in February, so releasing this early might have helped Trump get reelected while saving few lives.

  25. Moo says:

    For all those saying it would have made a difference for people to know the virus was airborne: It was literally magical thinking to trust that a respiratory virus is not airborne. Did people think the particles are so heavy they just fall to the ground in a moment?

    Physician and scientist communities have been actively trying to spread word on Twitter and Facebook that this virus is dangerous since February. They got shot down because so many people hate doctors. News outlets repeatedly reported findings discussed months earlier by physicians and scientists.

    We need to get back to a place where we can rely on information from experts like physicians and scientists. I I’ve given up hope we’ll get there to preserve my sanity, but maybe the next society will.

  26. Mina_Esq says:

    It wouldn’t have made a difference. We know all the info now, and Trump and Co. are still downplaying and failing to act (remember the mask-less RNC?). Also, it’s not Woodward’s obligation to protect the people. Trump isn’t the only official that knew. At least now, thanks to Woodward, we have audio evidence of Trump’s almost criminal actions from the horse’s mouth. Maybe these were also “perfect” calls/meetings lol

  27. nicegirl says:

    We are such a kick ass community here y’all. Thank you Katie & Chandra (&all of the celebitch writers!!&contrubutors)

    We are so fuckin with it. Celebitches vote to save America!! (And we truly appreciate our global counterparts and their statements of solidarity!!)

    We’re all like, #FUCKTRUMP2020 and I am here for it!! FTW!! Xoxo

  28. nicegirl says:

    Seriously you all are some #brilliantbitches #celebitchesunite

  29. Liz version 700 says:

    Yes! If 1000 of the people who are dead could have been saved by releasing this it definitely should have been put out there. We don’t know if it would have made a difference, because Trump, Woodward and everyone in the White House acted in their own interest rather.

  30. Valerie says:

    Not to defend or leg hump here, but I think he waited until they were closer to the election, and that might have been a good idea. The fact that Trump was elected at all shows that some Americans have short memories. I don’t think they would’ve made an ounce of difference to the impeachment process.

  31. holly hobby says:

    It would not have made a difference and he’d turn it to his advantage. That’s because in February it didn’t blow up. He would just incite the Magats and this would have gotten lost in the newscycle. Dropping it now is ammunition to get Joe Biden elected. Seriously hearing this, the loser and sucker tarring of the military and yesterday’s whistleblower case is a one two punch. According to the Atlantic owner, there’s more to come. They are going to pile on the dog shit and bury him. I really hope it works.

  32. sassafras says:

    I’m not saying “don’t be mad at Woodward” but every second you spend discussing this is a second you spend not correctly pointing the finger and shining the spotlight on the people WHO WERE ELECTED TO PROTECT US. Call your representatives and cuss them out today.

  33. Aimee says:

    I think this does look bad for Trump. Forget Woodward. At least we got this information out into the public. But Trump’s base won’t care. They never do.

    FYI, I donated to the guy running against Lindsay Graham and I don’t live in that state!!!

    • Liz version 700 says:

      I have donated to him too! Also to Sara Gideon who is running against Susan Collins. I am donating to key senate races. We need the senate badly.

    • H says:

      I’ve donated to Phil Ehr who is running against Matt Gaetz. Phil is a Navy vet. I will laugh if DUI Matt is defeated. I don’t live in that district either.

  34. Just A Thought says:

    This is ALL on Trump. Nothing to do with Woodward. It will not matter to Republicans house members and senators except maybe Roomey. I am sad for the lose of hundred of thousands of lives and so many people that is continuing to catch Covid-19. Because one man decided it all about power and did not care about his fellow human beings. Pray and vote, that Biden- Harris win this election by a landslide.

  35. Riley says:

    Not sure it would have made any difference. His die hard base wouldn’t have listened and they’re the only ones who believe his lying ass anyway.

  36. LidiaJara says:

    Firmly in the make-no-difference train. The number of people who trusted Trump for their scientific information in February, but would not trust him after Bob Woodward says he’s lying may not be zero, but statistically it’s zero. If there is a slice of the US that believed him over Fauci and the WHO six months ago (???), but don’t believe him now, that is a microscopic slice.

    And I would be hard pressed to believe that this sudden change of heart would come from a couple sentences on a tape rather than idk everything else that’s happened. We also have had Trump’s entire life to review as evidence, much of it on tape.

  37. KellyRyan says:

    Woodward has an excellent point. It has greater effect compiled in a book than in a daily blog. As to who knew what and when, the Obama administration was aware a pandemic was in our future. Medical researcher’s were discussing this last November. Medical professionals in my family mentioned it in February and March. Where was cable media, who has the money for research?

  38. Mabs A'Mabbin says:

    Trump could’ve given himself a shot of Clorox during a press briefing and Republicans and magats would’ve put a bandaid on his tremendous wound, kiss him on the cheek then line up for theirs. Yeah he lied. We all know he lied. Now there’s tape? Super. Just vote the f*cker out and publicly damn the right for their apathy and disgusting complicity.

  39. Gracie says:

    One positive I can say is that the more dirt you get out there close to the election, the more power it has and the less time people have to make excuses or forget. Sometimes candidates will throw pieces of their own dirt out a year or so ahead of election time to make sure the dust settles. That being said – do I think you should sit on this type of information? Absolutely not.

  40. Sheila D says:

    I live in Georgia and people are acting like the virus is gone. Meanwhile I am always in a mask anywhere out. Very nervous about the fall and winter with flu and Covid. I have a nasty feeling we will see a big surge of Covid cases in GA :( I wish there was more discussion about the mental health toll this is taking on many.

  41. Silvie says:

    PLENTY of journalists and medical professionals have been telling us since February how dangerous this virus is and how to prevent it. And right-wing media has consistently dismissed all of that information as fake news, overreaction, etc. If Woodward come forward with this information sooner, it wouldn’t have made any difference at all. Would Trump have worn a mask? Would he have cancelled his rallies? Issued more financial assistance to states to fund unemployment for restaurant and bar employees who were laid off when lock-downs began? Nope!