“Was there a moment in all this, last two months, where you said to yourself – you know you’re waking up, or what’s you doing, and you say, ‘Ah, this is a leadership test in life? “Woodward asked Trump on March 19 in a new clip that aired on CNN’s” Anderson Cooper 360 “on Tuesday night.
“I think it may be, but I do not think so,” Trump said. “All I want to do is get it resolved. There are a lot of people who said that to me. They said you are now a war president.”
The comments came more than seven weeks after Trump was warned by his national security adviser that the virus would be the “biggest national security threat”
“This is the moment a leader would say, ‘I got a warning: there are going to be problems.’ There are things we can do, “Woodward said.” But then he goes on to say, ‘Oh, I would not tell the truth because I would panic in people.’ That is not what the people of this country do when they are told the truth. “
Woodward’s extensive interviews with Trump for his new book “Rage” have revealed the president’s views on several hot-button issues, namely his handling of the national coronavirus response, which in some cases contradicted his message to the public at the time. .
“This is deadly thing,” Trump told Woodward on Feb. 7.
The first known death in the United States from Covid-19 was reported on February 29 in the state of Washington nearly six weeks after the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention confirmed the first U.S. case. It was later discovered that a death on February 6 was due to Covid-19.
In March, Trump admitted he was playing the virus down. He also told Woodward on March 19 that he had recently learned that “it’s not just old people” who are receptive. Nevertheless, Trump repeatedly claimed that it was predominantly the elderly who had to worry.
“We live in an Orwellian world, and it’s not just about a political problem or a geopolitical problem,” Woodward said. “It’s about people’s lives in this country, and he was told – he knew it.”
When Woodward told Trump that the election would be a competition between him, former Vice President Joe Biden “and the virus,” Trump insisted, “nothing more could have been done.”
He added: “I acted early.”
He said he had asked several advisers, “Is this pompous or is it true?”
“And the answer was from everyone, ‘It’s true … The whole Trump thing is about running away from the truth. You can not run away from the truth here because you’ve seen it,'” he added.
This is a groundbreaking story and will be updated.
CNN’s Jamie Gangel, Tara Subramaniam, Jeremy Herb and Elizabeth Stuart contributed to this report.