By Cliff Kincaid
President Trump gave interviews to Washington Post Watergate reporter Bob Woodward, who helped bring down another Republican president, Richard Nixon. What could go wrong?
Author and attorney John O’Connor comments, “Most tragedies result from hubris, and Trump thought he could schmooze Woodward, whereas Woodward was only intending to print the quotable negative stuff. Trump may have been great for many hours, but any lawyer knows that the opposition does not care about your good testimony, they care about the bad stuff, the mistakes. It was stupid.”
Trump would have been well-advised to read O’Connor’s book, Postgate, which looks at the roles played by a former top FBI official and the CIA in the scandal that brought down Nixon. The book probes the paper’s “strikingly deceptive partisan journalism,” while examining an alternative theory of why the Watergate break-in occurred.
As a former editor at Accuracy in Media, I worked with AIM founder Reed Irvine on the same topic, focusing on a special role played by the CIA in Watergate. At this late date, the real nature of the Watergate scandal is still unresolved.
Trump is now denouncing the new Woodward book, which he says he won’t read, but he should have proceeded with caution in the first place.
Although he is new to Washington, D.C., he should have known that Woodward has made millions writing books that make news because of the startling insider stories that Woodward seems to have a knack for digging up. In Trump’s case, he had Trump’s cooperation.
As Reed Irvine and I wrote at the time, Woodward once admitted that he uses sources, documents, and other means to “figure out” the truth. But his 1987 book, Veil, included an interview with William J. Casey, the CIA director, after Casey had brain surgery and could not speak intelligibly. His hospital room was guarded and Woodward was never admitted to it. Yet, Casey was supposed to have spoken 19 intelligible words in the interview.
Woodward didn’t have to “figure out” anything with Trump. The president granted him interviews.
In Watergate, Woodward and his partner Carl Bernstein had an anonymous “Deep Throat” source, believed by some to be Mark Felt, who was second in command of the FBI at the time. John O’Connor represented Felt and his book Postgate looks at his role.
Reed Irvine and I wrote a series of articles questioning whether Felt was in fact Deep Throat. We argued that Felt was not in a position to supply the information about Watergate that is attributed to Deep Throat in the Woodward/Bernstein book about the scandal. Our conclusion was that the key Watergate sources were somewhere else in the bureaucracy, probably the intelligence community.
Watergate was a template for what is now happening to Trump, and Trump fell into Woodward’s trap.
Using a “scandal” to oust Trump has not worked so far, and the Woodward book may only succeed in making more money for Woodward and his paper. But the interviews Trump gave to Woodward are a sad reminder that he has made some strange decisions that have come back to haunt him.
On the same day the juicy quotes came out, Trump announced some new possible nominations for the Supreme Court at a news conference where reporters pummeled him about the Woodward book.
Tragically, one of Trump’s two appointments, Neil Gorsuch, wrote a decision on LGBTQ “rights” in the Bostick case that makes a mockery of the rule of law and has demoralized conservatives everywhere. I was one of the few who wrote critically of his nomination, noting his membership in a liberal church, questionable testimony, and spotty record.
As I also noted in a previous column, “The Traitors, Dopes, Dupes, and Globalists Around Trump,” Trump’s list of bad hires includes Neil Gorsuch, Jeff Sessions, Rod Rosenstein, Anthony Scaramucci, and John Bolton, among others. Still, Trump has survived all of them.
Postgate author John O’Conner and others are being featured in the new film, “Plot Against the President,” coming next month, about how the intelligence community targeted Trump in much the same way they may have brought down Nixon.
So far, Trump has survived. But based on the Woodward book and the quotes from Trump about avoiding coronavirus panic, including, “I wanted to always play it down,” the left is armed with another weapon. It is now raising the Watergate question about what Trump knew and when he knew it, regarding the contagious nature of the virus.
By telling Woodward he wanted to avoid panic, Trump has created more of it. The death toll from the virus, after all, is approaching 200,000 in the U.S. alone, and Trump understands better than most that China bears criminal responsibility for releasing the disease on America and the world. This attack, which is continuing, is worse than 9/11.
© 2020 Cliff Kincaid – All Rights Reserved
E-Mail Cliff Kincaid: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Cliff Kincaid is president of America’s Survival, Inc. usasurvival.org