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Sunday, September 20, 2020

From Covid to secret nuclear weapons system: Top revelations from new book on Trump

In the book, which is based on 18 interviews Woodward conducted with Trump, the US President admits to initially underplaying the severity of the Covid-19 pandemic and boasts about his relationship with North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un.

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi | Updated: September 12, 2020 10:38:41 am
U.S. President Donald Trump arrives for the coronavirus task force daily briefing at the White House in Washington, U.S. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

Award-winning American journalist Bob Woodward’s forthcoming novel ‘Rage’ is the latest in a string of recent books to make headlines for exposing US President Donald Trump’s alleged transgressions during his years in the White House.

In the book, which is based on 18 interviews Woodward conducted with Trump, the US President admits to initially underplaying the severity of the Covid-19 pandemic and boasts about his relationship with North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un.

Predicting the uproar that was bound to ensue following the book’s release, President Trump earlier tweeted that Woodward’s book was “fake”. Despite his warnings, the much-awaited book stirred up a storm on social media after its author released audio recordings of his conversations with Trump on Wednesday.

Here are some of the biggest revelations mentioned in the book:

Trump downplayed Covid-19 threat to reduce panic

Donald Trump, Us coronavirus, Hydroxychloroquine,Trump defends disproved COVID-19 treatment, world news President Donald Trump wears a face mask as he walks down a hallway during a visit to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda. (AP)

In an interview with Woodward, President Trump reportedly admitted that he had misled the American public about the threat posed by the coronavirus pandemic. “I wanted to, I wanted to always play it down,” he told Woodward in March. “I still like playing it down, because I don’t want to create a panic.”

The US President has repeatedly come under fire for mishandling the pandemic in the country, which has recorded the highest number of Covid-19 cases in the world. While speaking with the author, as early as in February, Trump confessed that the virus was “deadly stuff”. However, he insisted that it was going to disappear “like a miracle”.

Trump reveals details of alleged top secret nuclear weapons system

Donald trump, Trump accepts nomination, Trump at RNC, US presidential elections 2020, US polls 2020, Joe Biden, world news President Donald Trump is joined on stage by family members during the final night of the Republican National Convention, on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, on Thursday, Aug. 27, 2020. From left: Kimberly Guilfoyle, Donald Trump Jr., President Trump and first lady Melania Trump. (Doug Mills/The New York Times)

Speaking about the tensions that arose between the US and North Korea in 2017, Trump revealed that he had built a nuclear weapons system “that nobody’s ever had in this country before”. “We have stuff that you haven’t even seen or heard about. We have stuff that (Russian President Vladimir) Putin and (Chinese President Jinping) Xi have never heard about before. There’s nobody — what we have is incredible,” he added, according to a report by AP, quoting Woodward’s book.

In an interview with Fox News on Wednesday, Trump’s National Security Adviser Robert O’Brien clarified that the President was not referring to any specific weapons system. “We’re always on the cutting edge and we’ve always got something out there that our adversaries don’t know about,” he said.

‘I’m the only one Kim Jong-Un smiles with’

south korea, north kora, south orea north korea relationship, korea us relations, donald trump, kim jong un, north korea projectile, indian express Panmunjom: President Donald Trump meets with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un at the border village of Panmunjom in the Demilitarized Zone, South Korea, Sunday, June 30, 2019. AP/PTI

Boasting about his relationship with North Korean dictator Kim Jong-Un, President Trump said that he felt flattered when Kim addressed him as “your excellency”, adding that he was “the only one he smiles with”. According to Trump, the North Korean dictator was “far beyond smart”.

Woodward was able to obtain 27 letters exchanged between the two leaders, in which Kim allegedly flattered Trump extensively, referring to their relationship as a “deep and special friendship”, which “will work as a magical force”. In one such letter, Kim wrote that meeting Trump again would be “reminiscent of a scene from a fantasy film”, the Guardian reported.

‘I saved Saudi Prince’s ass’

(file photo), U.S. President Donald Trump, right, shakes hands with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman during a bilateral meeting, in Riyadh. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci, File)

In another interview, Trump reportedly bragged about how he had protected Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman from Congressional pressure after the death of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi.

“I saved his ass,” Trump boasted while speaking with Woodward in 2018, according to a copy of the book obtained by The Hill. “I was able to get Congress to leave him alone. I was able to get them to stop.”

‘I’m not feeling any love from black community’

When asked about his take on the problem of systemic and institutional racism in the US, Trump said he felt under-appreciated by the black community despite doing a “tremendous amount” for them.

“I’ve done a tremendous amount for the Black community,” Trump said, according to a report by NBC news. “And, honestly, I’m not feeling any love.” He went on to say that he did not believe former President Barack Obama was particularly smart.

“I think he’s highly overrated. And I don’t think he’s a great speaker,” Trump said, adding that North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un thought he was an “a**hole”.

‘The president has no moral compass’, top Trump officials say

Mattis meeting with Pak leaders was to 'find common ground in fight against terror': Pentagon  US Defence Secretary James Mattis

While working on the book, Woodward was able to speak with top officials from the Trump administration, some of whom believed that the US President was a dangerous man, the Guardian reported. “The president has no moral compass,” US Defence Secretary James Mattis reportedly said. “He’s dangerous”.

Officials claimed that President Trump was impulsive, lacked focus and was “unfit” to serve in the Oval Office.

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