Donald Trump asked Bob Woodward to include the deal between Israel and the United Arab Emirates in his book Rage, the author said on Sunday night – and when told that was not possible, tweeted that the book was “gonna be fake”.
Woodward’s book is based on 17 on-the-record conversations with the president and has stoked huge controversy, seemingly guaranteeing equally huge sales when it hits shelves on Tuesday. Simon & Schuster’s initial print run was reportedly 1.3m copies.
Trump’s confession that he played down the danger from the coronavirus has dealt him a severe blow as his re-election fight against Joe Biden continues. To boost that campaign, the administration has presented a series of diplomatic deals.
In an interview with CBS 60 Minutes, Woodward said he spoke to Trump again on 14 August.
“It’s a tough book,” Woodward said he told the president. “There are going to be things that you are not gonna like, judgments that I made.”
The president said: “Well, I didn’t get you on this book. Maybe I’ll get you on the next one.”
“An hour and a half later,” Woodward said, “he tweeted out that the Bob Woodward book is gonna be fake.”
“The Bob Woodward book will be a FAKE, as always, just as many of the others have been,” Trump’s tweet read. “But, believe it or not, lately I’ve been getting lots of GREAT books!”
Woodward made his name with Carl Bernstein nearly 50 years ago, reporting the Watergate scandal which brought down Richard Nixon. He has shared two Pulitzer Prizes and Rage is his second Trump book, after the bestseller Fear.
Woodward was continuing his publicity tour on Monday, speaking to NBC.
His conclusion to Rage seems set to go down in posterity.
“When his performance as president is taken in its entirety, I can only reach one conclusion: Trump is the wrong man for the job.”
He told CBS it was “a conclusion based on evidence, overwhelming evidence, that he could not rise to the occasion with the virus and tell the truth. And one of the things that President Trump told me, ‘In the presidency, there’s always dynamite behind the door.’
“The real dynamite is President Trump. He is the dynamite.”