Woodward's forthcoming book RagePicture copyright

US President Donald Trump has defended his resolution to downplay the dangers of Covid-19, saying his solutions to journalist Bob Woodward have been “correct”.

Woodward, identified for his reporting on the Watergate scandal, interviewed Mr Trump 18 occasions from December to July.

Mr Trump stated in February he minimised the virus’s severity to keep away from panic.

He tweeted on Thursday that Woodward didn’t report his quotes for months. “He knew they have been good and correct solutions. Calm, no panic!”

Later he informed reporters he by no means lied, once they instructed he intentionally misled the American public on how harmful the virus was.

Some 190,000 Individuals have been recorded as dying with Covid-19 because the starting of the pandemic.

What did Trump say?

“Bob Woodward had my quotes for a lot of months. If he thought they have been so dangerous or harmful, why did not he instantly report them in an effort to avoid wasting lives?” Mr Trump stated.

“Did not he have an obligation to take action? No, as a result of he knew they have been good and correct solutions. Calm, no panic!”

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Media captionHow Trump’s angle towards coronavirus shifted between March and April

The president – who’s operating for re-election in November – on Wednesday informed reporters the Woodward ebook was “a political hit job”.

What has Woodward stated?

Woodward has been criticised for withholding the president’s remarks on the pandemic, with some saying it was an unethical resolution.

The journalist supplied a defence within the Washington Publish and Related Press on Wednesday, saying he wanted to verify whether or not what Mr Trump informed him was correct.

“The largest downside I had, which is all the time an issue with Trump, is I did not know if it was true,” Woodward informed The Publish.

He additionally stated that it was vital for him to inform the story by the election, telling the Related Press: “Had I made a decision that my ebook was popping out on Christmas, the tip of this 12 months, that may have been unthinkable.”

The ebook, Rage, can be launched on 15 September.

What does the ebook say about Mr Trump and the virus?

Mr Trump indicated that he knew extra in regards to the severity of the sickness than he had stated publicly.

In response to a tape of the decision, Mr Trump informed Woodward in February that the coronavirus was deadlier than the flu.

“It goes by means of the air,” Mr Trump informed the writer on 7 February.

“That is all the time more durable than the contact. You do not have to the touch issues. Proper? However the air, you simply breathe the air and that is the way it’s handed.

“And in order that’s a really tough one. That is a really delicate one. It is also extra lethal than even your strenuous flus.” 

Later that month, Mr Trump promised the virus was “very a lot beneath management”, and that the case depend would quickly be near zero. He additionally publicly implied the flu was extra harmful than Covid-19.

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Media captionThe misplaced six weeks when the US failed to manage the virus

Talking on Capitol Hill on 10 March, Mr Trump stated: “Simply keep calm. It would go away.”

9 days later, after the White Home declared the pandemic a nationwide emergency, the president informed Woodward: “I needed to all the time play it down. I nonetheless like taking part in it down, as a result of I do not wish to create a panic.”

What Trump was telling Woodward v saying publicly

28 Jan: Nationwide safety adviser Robert O’Brien tells the president: “That is the most important nationwide safety risk you’ll face.”

7 Feb: “That is lethal stuff,” he tells Woodward, way more critical than the flu.

23 Feb: “We now have it very a lot beneath management,” President Trump tells reporters.

26 Feb: On the 15 confirmed instances on the time, he tells a briefing: “inside a few days goes to be down to shut to zero, that is a fairly good job we have carried out”, implying that flu is way extra harmful.

27 Feb: The virus goes to “disappear”, he says.

10 March: “We’re doing an amazing job with it. And it’ll go away. Simply keep calm. It would go away,” the president says on Capitol Hill.

19 March: He tells Woodward he needed to play it all the way down to keep away from a panic.

What else did the ebook reveal?

On race

Woodward writes that he introduced up the Black Lives Matter protests in a dialog with the president on 19 June, suggesting that “white, privileged” individuals like themselves must work to know how black Individuals really feel.

“You actually drank the Kool-Assist, did not you?” Mr Trump stated. “Simply take heed to you.”

The nationwide protests in opposition to police brutality and racism have been sparked by George Floyd’s dying in Minnesota in Could.

Mr Trump additionally repeated the suggestion that he had carried out extra for African Individuals than any president apart from Abraham Lincoln, who abolished slavery.

Later, on 8 July, Mr Trump once more reiterated that he had “carried out an amazing quantity for the black group” however was “not feeling any love”.

The Washington Publish additionally cited an interview the place Woodward requested the president about whether or not America has systemic racism.

Mr Trump stated whereas these issues exist in every single place, “I feel in all probability much less right here than most locations, or much less right here than many locations”.

The president additionally acknowledged racism affected the lives of individuals within the US, saying it was “unlucky”.

On North Korea

Woodward’s ebook additionally cites dozens of letters between Mr Trump and North Korea’s Kim Jong-un. Within the letters, crammed with flowery language, Mr Kim reportedly referred to Mr Trump as “Your Excellency” and famous their “deep and particular friendship will work as a magical power”.

In response to US media, Mr Trump informed Woodward of his reference to Mr Kim: “You meet a girl. In a single second, you recognize whether or not or not it should occur. It does not take you 10 minutes and it does not take you six weeks. It is like, whoa. OK. You already know? It takes considerably lower than a second.”

In a tweet on Thursday, Mr Trump wrote: “Kim Jong Un is in good well being. By no means underestimate him!” There have been sporadic stories about Mr Kim’s well being, including one in April that he was seriously ill or even dead.

On new weapons

The president additionally reportedly informed Woodward about nuclear weapons programs in his conversations about North Korea. Different sources additionally confirmed the existence of a brand new weapons system, Woodward reported.

“I’ve constructed a nuclear – a weapons system that no one’s ever had on this nation earlier than. We now have stuff that you have not even seen or heard about,” he stated, in accordance with the Publish.

“We now have stuff that [Russian President] Putin and [Chinese President] Xi have by no means heard about earlier than,” Trump added.

On his predecessors

Mr Trump additionally reportedly informed Woodward that he felt his predecessor, Barack Obama, was “extremely overrated”.

“I do not suppose Obama’s sensible,” Mr Trump reportedly stated. “And I do not suppose he is an amazing speaker.”

In response to CNN, Mr Trump informed Woodward he made President George W Bush “appear like a silly moron, which he was”.

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