By Aaron Blake | Washington Submit
WASHINGTON – Bob Woodward, an affiliate editor at The Washington Submit, sought an interview with President Donald Trump as he was writing “Fear,” a book about Trump’s presidency. Trump called Woodward in early August, after the manuscript had been accomplished, to say he needed to take part.
This can be a transcript of that decision.
Trump: Hiya, Bob.
BW: President Trump, how are you?
Trump: How are you? How are you doing? Okay?
BW: Actual properly. I’m turning on my tape recorder, together with your permission.
Trump: Oh, that’s okay. That’s okay. I don’t thoughts that in any respect.
BW: I’m sorry we missed the alternative to talk for the book.
Trump: Nicely, I simply spoke with Kellyanne [Conway] and she or he requested me if I acquired a name. I by no means received a name. I by no means received a message. Who did you ask about talking to me?
BW: Nicely, about six individuals.
Trump: They don’t inform me.
BW: A senator. I talked to Kellyanne about it two and a half months in the past.
BW: She got here for lunch.
Trump: Properly, it’s too dangerous. In fact, you and I had a dialog a few years in the past, and in order that I feel received you there somewhat bit. And we had a dialog a few years in the past, for those who keep in mind, in Trump Tower.
BW: Yeah, I do.
Trump: That has to be 20 years in the past. And also you have been considering about doing a book about me then, which is fascinating. Who knew it might’ve been on this topic? Proper? That was not in the playing cards at the moment.
BW: That’s proper. Properly, I’m sorry, I . ..
Trump: I nonetheless keep in mind that.
BW: I spent a variety of time on this, talked to numerous individuals.
Trump: All proper. Good.
BW: And as you realize and live, we’re at a pivot level in historical past.
BW: And I might’ve favored to have finished that, and I maximized my effort, and someway it didn’t get to you, or . ..
Trump: It’s actually too dangerous, as a result of no one informed me about it, and I might’ve liked to have spoken to you. You realize I’m very open to you. I feel you’ve all the time been truthful. We’ll see what occurs. However all I can say is the nation is doing very properly. We’re doing higher economically simply about than at any time. We’re doing higher on unemployment perhaps than ever. You understand, I imply, in case you take a look at the unemployment numbers, you’ve heard me say it. And we’re doing higher on unemployment than simply about ever. We’re having loads of – numerous corporations are shifting again into our nation, which might’ve been unprecedented two years in the past. If the different administration or representatives of it had stored going, had stored – you understand, if the different group had gained, I’ll inform you, that you’d have, I feel you’d have a GDP of lower than zero. I feel we might’ve been getting in the fallacious course. As a result of laws are such an enormous a part of what we’ve achieved, Bob.
BW: Nicely, I perceive that perspective. And as you already know, it’s additionally a troublesome time the place the political system and also you and my enterprise is being examined.
Trump: Yeah. Yeah.
BW: I take it very critically. I’ve carried out books on eight presidents, going again from Nixon to Obama.
BW: And I discovered one thing about reporting, frankly, Mr. President.
BW: I’ve received to go talk to individuals and see them outdoors of the White Home and out of doors of their workplaces, and gained plenty of perception and documentation. And it’s – you recognize, it’s a troublesome take a look at the world and your administration and also you.
Trump: Proper. Nicely, I assume meaning it’s going to be a adverse book. However you realize, I’m some – I’m type of 50 % used to that. [Laughter] That’s all proper. Some are good and a few are dangerous. Feels like that is going to be a nasty one.
BW: It was an opportunity missed, and I don’t understand how issues work over there when it comes to . ..
Trump: Very nicely. We . ..
BW: . . . getting to you.
Trump: Properly, for those who would name Madeleine [Westerhout] in my workplace . . . Did you converse to Madeleine?
BW: No, I didn’t. However I . ..
Trump: Madeleine is the key. She’s the secret. As a result of she’s the individual . ..
BW: Properly, I talked to Raj [Shah] about it. I talked to . . . I talked to Kellyanne.
Trump: Nicely, a variety of them are afraid to come and talk, or – you already know, they’re busy. I’m busy. However I don’t thoughts speaking to you. I might’ve spoken to you. I spoke to you 20 years [ago] and I spoke to you a yr and a half or two years in the past.
BW: A few years in the past, I perceive.
Trump: And I definitely don’t thoughts speaking to you, and I want I might’ve spoken to you. However no one called my workplace. I imply, you went by way of, I assume, totally different individuals. …
BW: Properly, Mr. President, how can I spend all this time speaking to individuals and – like Kellyanne and Raj and Republican senators?
Trump: Who have been the senators? No, they by no means called me about it.
BW: Senator [Lindsey] Graham stated he had talked to you about speaking to me. Now, is that not true?
Trump: Senator Graham truly talked about it shortly in a single assembly.
BW: Sure. Properly, see. After which nothing occurred.
Trump: That’s true. That’s true. Properly, that – no, however that’s true. Talked about it shortly, not like, you already know, and I would definitely have thought that perhaps you’d’ve called the workplace. However that’s okay. I’ll converse to Kellyanne. I’m just a little stunned that she wouldn’t have advised me. Actually, she simply walked in. [to Kellyanne] I’m speaking to Bob Woodward. He stated that he advised you.
Trump: About talking to me. However you by no means advised me. Why didn’t you inform me?
Trump: I might’ve been very glad to converse to him. All proper, so what are you going to do?
BW: Properly …
Trump: So I’ve one other dangerous book popping out. Massive deal.
BW: . . . it goes on, and I . . . What you’ll be able to rely on is that I’ve been very cautious. And Evelyn, are you on?
BW: Evelyn Duffy, who’s my assistant, Mr. President.
Trump: Howdy, Evelyn.
BW: She transcribed all the tapes as a result of, with permission, I taped individuals for lots of of hours.
BW: And I feel there’s nothing on this book that doesn’t come from a firsthand supply. Is that right, Evelyn?
EMD: I consider that’s –
Trump: However are you naming names? Or do you simply say sources?
BW: Yeah, nicely, it names actual incidents, so . ..
Trump: No, however do you identify sources? I imply, are you naming the individuals, or simply say, individuals have stated?
BW: I say, at 2 o’clock on today, the following occurred, and everybody who’s there, together with your self, is quoted. And I’m sorry I didn’t get to ask you about these . ..
Trump: I imply, you do know I’m doing an amazing job for the nation. You do know that NATO now’s going to pay billions and billions of dollars extra, for instance, than anyone thought attainable, that different presidents have been unable to get extra? And it was heading downward. You do know all of the issues I’ve finished and issues that I’m doing? I’m in the course of of creating a few of the biggest commerce offers ever to be made. You do perceive that stuff? I imply, I hope.
BW: Definitely, I perceive and I might’ve beloved to undergo a dialogue with you about NATO, as a result of this goes again to early in your administration and your concern about it, and the settlement that the nations have that they might improve their protection contribution, what’s it, by the yr 2024? And you understand . . . So anyway, we’re . ..
Trump: Properly, you understand final yr, should you see the secretary, [Jens] Stoltenberg, he stated – I consider – $44 billion simply final yr, and that was from final yr’s assembly. And this yr it’s far more cash they’ve agreed to put up. So it’s an incredible sum of money. No different president has achieved it. It was heading down in the other way. So I don’t know in the event you’re going to report it that approach; in all probability not. However that’s too dangerous, however that’s all proper, however you understand, a type of issues.
BW: Every little thing goes to be factual. And it isn’t an excellent factor for my enterprise, if I’ll say this to you, Mr. President, to the presidency, or to the nation, to not have actual, full exchanges on these. And I broke my spear on it making an attempt to get to you.
Trump: Properly, aside from Lindsey [Graham], who did shortly point out it, no one talked about it.
BW: You say Kellyanne’s there, ask her.
Trump: No one advised me about it. Properly, let me ask her. Why don’t you converse to Kellyanne. Ask her. She by no means advised me about it.[Conway takes the phone.]
Conway: Bob, how are you? Hello.
BW: Hello. Keep in mind two and a half months in the past you came to visit and I laid out, I needed to talk to the president? And also you stated you’d get again to me?
Conway: I do. And I put in the request. However you understand, they – it was rejected. I can solely take it up to now. I assume I can deliver it proper to the president subsequent time.
Conway: However I attempt to comply with all the protocols, or else I’m accused of being anyone who doesn’t comply with protocol.
BW: President Trump, I simply need you to know I made each effort.
Conway: However you had talked to [former White House communications director] Hope [Hicks], proper, who stated no?
BW: Pay attention, I talked to anybody I might. [Laughs]
Conway: You talked to quite a few individuals they usually all stated no?
BW: I talked to Raj.
BW: He was going to work it out.
Conway: Hope. [Me?].[The president says something in the background that is inaudible.]
Conway: I stated you tried speaking to everyone? What about whenever you interviewed, like, different individuals? All of them stated sure? That they’d attempt?
BW: Yeah, nicely, about six or seven individuals. I attempted. And I couldn’t have – you and I spent an entire lunch on it, Kellyanne. And I stated, I would like to cowl the substantive points in overseas coverage and home coverage. And also you stated you’d get again to me. Nothing.
Conway: Yeah. So, I did. I introduced it to the individuals right here who make these selections, however . ..
BW: Who’re the individuals?
Conway: However anyway, I’ll offer you again to the president. And I’m glad to hear that you simply tried via seven or eight totally different individuals. That’s good. You need to inform him all the names. [Laughs] Thanks.
Trump: However you by no means called for me. It will’ve been good, Bob, in the event you called for me, in my workplace. I imply, I’ve a secretary. I’ve two, three secretaries. In the event you would’ve called immediately – lots of people are afraid . . . Raj, I hardly have . . . I don’t converse to Raj.
BW: Kellyanne is a . ..
Trump: I do, I do, and Kellyanne went to anyone, however she didn’t come to me.
BW: Nicely, does she have entry to you?
Trump: And she or he ought to’ve come to me. She does have entry to me. Completely. She has direct entry, however she didn’t come to me. And you recognize what? That’s okay. I’ll simply find yourself with one other dangerous book. What can I inform you?
BW: It’s shocking to me that these individuals – did Raj have entry to you?
Trump: Not likely, however he would’ve been in a position to do it. However I’ve an workplace. You have got the workplace quantity. I’ve an workplace that’s immediately into my workplace.
Conway: [inaudible in background]
Trump: It doesn’t matter. Let me inform you what issues: The financial system is the greatest it’s been in lots of, many many years. And it’s going to get lots higher. And the nation is doing very nicely. That’s what’s necessary.
BW: Sure, sir. I assumed I might . ..
Trump: We’re doing a very good job.
BW: . . . by no means type of say, let’s not talk about this as a result of the book is completed to a president . ..
Trump: Yeah, I do know.
BW: . . . and, however that’s the place we’re in. And it’s one I attempted to keep away from. You want to know I made most effort.
Trump: All proper. It’s too dangerous.
BW: Sure, sir.
Trump: I’m simply listening to about it. And I heard – I did hear from Lindsey, however I’m simply listening to about it. So we’re going to have a really inaccurate book, and that’s too dangerous. However I don’t blame you completely.
BW: No, it’s [?] – it’s going to be correct, I promise.
Trump: Yeah, okay. Nicely, correct is that no one’s ever accomplished a greater job than I’m doing as president. That I can inform you. In order that’s . . . And that’s the means lots of people really feel that know what’s happening, and also you’ll see that over the years. However lots of people really feel that, Bob.
BW: I consider in our nation, and since you’re our president, I want you good luck.
Trump: Okay. Thanks very a lot, Bob. I recognize it. Bye.[Call ends] [Recording ends]