Trump in the White House

Book - 2018
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Bob Woodward reveals the harrowing life inside President Donald Trump's White House and precisely how he makes decisions on major foreign and domestic policies. Woodward draws from hundreds of hours of interviews with firsthand sources, meeting notes, personal diaries, files and documents. The focus is on the explosive debates and the decision-making in the Oval Office, the Situation Room, Air Force One and the White House residence.
Publisher: New York :, Simon & Schuster,, 2018
Edition: First Simon & Schuster hardcover edition
ISBN: 9781501175510
Branch Call Number: 973.933 TRU
Characteristics: xxii, 420 pages, 16 unnumbered pages of plates : color illustrations ; 24 cm
Alternative Title: Trump in the White House


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Nov 14, 2018

Decades from now--perhaps a century from now--this book will still be among the "go-to" sources for those seeking to understand the chaos one of the most tumultuous terms of any U.S. President in history.

What makes it so is the author Bob Woodward's peerless credentials as an investigative reporter, and his methodology:
1. "Multiple deep background interviews with firsthand sources" (which provide many jaw-dropping direct quotes)
2. "Author's review of contemporaneous notes by a participant"
3. exhaustive research of available media and many official documents (mostly, available on-line.)

Easy-to-read organization: with few brief exceptions, it's simply a week by week, often day-by-day, sometimes hour-by-hour chronology, extending from Trump's Presidential campaign through to April, 2018, just five months before the book was published--which makes it extremely timely.

If you think you know Trump and how life must be for those in White House administration, but haven't yet read this: be prepared to be surprised, shocked and--at the very least--entertained. Highly entertained. Wife and I haven't laughed over a book--especially a non-fiction, "serious" work--likely in our lives.

Learn why so many people are fired, quit or "resign." Learn why, regardless of how you feel about Trump personally, you may find yourself agreeing with his feelings more often than you thought you would...

What happens inside the West Wing today defies imagination. I suspect strongly that--as this administration is far from over--Woodward is filing away tapes, notes (his and others'), following the threads of issues through to the end of Trump's (first!) term in preparation for another book likely to be published during the Presidential Campaign. Not that it may make the slightest bit of difference to the outcome.

Likely the most important work of non-fiction I'll read this year. What's that mean? I've read a dozen or so, including Michael Ellsberg's revelatory, frightening memoir, The Doomsday Machine, Confessions of a Nuclear War Planner.

Nov 11, 2018

A good chronological summary of the first two years of the Trump presidency. The information was obtained largely by means of taped interviews (to be able to write correctly the information and to be able to prove that he is not making this stuff up). Trump latches onto beliefs that have little relation to actual fact. Since Trump does not read or attempt to corroborate his ideas, he just propagates the ideas that he detects as favorable for his base audience.

Nov 11, 2018

This book was kind of disappointing to me. It does tell what happened inside the White House and the profane language its occupants used. All of us probably already know about most of these events.The thing that is disappointing is that Woodward merely tells what happened and offers no analysis on the ramifications of Trump's actions. The book kind of seems rushed out.

Nov 08, 2018

All voting american citizens ought to read this account of Trump presidency. Not a quick fast read, however does provide a unique view and some understanding of current presidency.
The title fits.

Nov 03, 2018

A very good read. The most interesting thing is that if you are a Trump supporter [like I am] then there is lots in this book to reinforce the things you like about this Presidency. If you dislike Trump you will find lots here to reinforce your opinion.

The book will not change anyones opinion.

For example, when Trump wanted to impose trade sanctions on China I think it was Cohn who said you can't since they produce 97% of the vaccines used in the US. To me that is the very point - how could previous administrations allow the US and likely Canada to get into that situation.

All the discussion of the Mueller probe from my perspective shows that there is nothing to it - Woodward basically says that in the book. It is interesting and well presented.

I think it was Cohn elsewhere in the book while trying to convince Trump to not impose tariffs says look at an intersection in NYC. Years ago you had x, y and z - now you have Starbucks, Drug store and X. His point was the US is a service based economy. I see Trumps point as you want decent paying manufacturing jobs and not just a minimum wage service economy.

Even the discussion of the events in Charlottesville ?? when Trump was accused of being a racist are interesting. If you are a Trump supporter that summary nicely explains what happened and how Trumps words were twisted.

Bottom line - this is a good book and if you read it with an open mind will see the shades of grey to the issues.

Nov 03, 2018

It is hard to believe someone as incompetent as Donnie was elected.

Oct 28, 2018

Bob Woodward incites uunwarranted fear. Failed nominee Hillary Clinton with husband, Bill “ I’m a victim of women” Clinton, yes he said that, would have been scarier.

Oct 26, 2018

Woodward provides what the previous tell-all White House books lack, serious reporting and documentation. The story hasn’t changed, it shows the US president as a person lacking the skills necessary to be president.

Oct 25, 2018

Everyone (for, against or indifferent to #45) should read this book. It is aptly titled. If even half of it is true (and I believe far more than that), it's a call to action. We may live in fear about what this administration can do, but this is a democracy. Vote!!

Oct 24, 2018

I agree with some other commenters that there isn't a whole lot "new" in this book but it's highly readable and nice recap of the goings on in the White House and Oval Office since 1/20/17. There are a few insights but I kind of knew some of these things about Trump such as: he won't learn, he won't listen, he doesn't care about facts and on and on. That stuff was confirmed. Maybe Woodward will write another book about the Trump presidency in future. Either a book about his impeachment or something worse...

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Oct 06, 2018

But the president summed up his position on almost everything in an interview with The New York Times. " I'm always moving. I'm moving in both directions." pg 280.

Oct 06, 2018

Trump was determined to impose steel tariffs. "Look," Trump said, " we'll try it. If it doesn't work, we'll undo it." "Mr. President," Cohn said, " that's not what you do with the U.S. economy."
pg 274.

Sep 22, 2018

Throughout the book, Trump was quoted with numerous denigrating comments directed to White House staffs, Intelligence communities, Foreign leaders, political leaders etc. However, only a few inside the White House were named in the book who dared to go against Trump.
Below are the ONLY insiders who allegedly called Trump either moron or such:
Tillerson (moron), Mattis (sixth-grader) and Kelly (idiot.)
Below are the ONLY insiders who allegedly called Trump liar:
Cohn (liar), Dowd (thought so but did not say out loud.)
Trump believed the building conflict between the U.S. and North Korea was a contest of wills. “This is all about leader versus leader. Man versus man. Me versus Kim.”

Sep 22, 2018

Porter told an associate, “A third of my job was trying to react to some of the really dangerous ideas that he had and try to give him reasons to believe that maybe they weren’t such good ideas.”
Kellyanne Conway became Trump’s campaign manager in August 2016 and coined the phrase “the hidden Trump voter. . . . There’s not a single hidden Hillary voter in the entire country. They’re all out and about.”
R. McMaster, Trump’s second national security adviser, considered Secretary of Defense Mattis and Secretary of State Tillerson “the team of two” and found himself outside their orbit. He believed Mattis and Tillerson had concluded that the president and the White House were crazy. They sought to implement and even formulate policy on their own without interference or involvement from McMaster, let alone the president. “It is more loyal to the president,” McMaster said, “to try to persuade rather than circumvent.”

Sep 17, 2018

90 quotes in goodreads already as of 12:20pm today. Suspect that most if not all the best ones are already included. However, it is important to add the author's "Note to Readers" which is not in goodreads yet:

Interviews for this book were conducted under the journalist ground rule of “deep background.” This means that all the information could be used but I would not say who provided it. The book is drawn from hundreds of hours of interviews with firsthand participants and witnesses to these events. Nearly all allowed me to tape-record our interviews so the story could be told with more precision. 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. President Trump declined to be interviewed for this book.

Sep 17, 2018

Here are a few not in goodreads yet... I checked:

Hope Hicks served as Trump’s press secretary during the campaign and became White House strategic communications director. Like many others, she tried and failed to rein in the president’s tweeting. “It’s not politically helpful,” she told Trump. “You can’t just be a loose cannon on Twitter. You’re getting killed by a lot of this stuff. You’re shooting yourself in the foot. You’re making big mistakes.”
White House counsel Don McGahn wanted the president to assert executive privilege in the Mueller investigation and resist handing over documents. Trump’s lawyer John Dowd disagreed and cooperated with Mueller in order to speed up the investigation. “We’d get a hell of a lot more with honey than we would with vinegar.”

Sep 17, 2018

This gem is not in goodreads but should be:

Ivanka Trump, the president’s 36-year-old daughter, was a senior White House adviser whose influence with her father was resented and resisted by others in the White House. Chief strategist Steve Bannon got into a screaming match with her. “You’re a goddamn staffer!” Bannon yelled. “You’re nothing but a f---ing staffer! You walk around this place and act like you’re in charge, and you’re not. You’re on staff!” Ivanka shouted back, “I’m not a staffer! I’ll never be a staffer. I’m the first daughter.”
This quote is partially in goodreads:

National Economic Council Chairman Gary Cohn formed an alliance with Staff Secretary Rob Porter and at times Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis to curb some of Trump’s most dangerous impulses. “It’s not what we did for the country,” Cohn said. “It’s what we saved him from doing.”

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