Dana Perino Asks Woodward: Why Not Come Forward Sooner if You Were Concerned About Trump's COVID Take?

Posted: Sep 18, 2020 9:45 AM
Dana Perino Asks Woodward: Why Not Come Forward Sooner if You Were Concerned About Trump's COVID Take?

Source: AP Photo/Alex Brandon

Bob Woodward got nine hours of interview time with President Trump over the course of 10 months for his new book, "Rage." He said it was to the president's "credit" that he let him have so much access to him and interrogate him on several issues. But, before he published it, the author warned Trump that he wouldn't like some of his conclusions. As he finishes his book, Woodward tells his readers that Trump is "the wrong man for the job." And he reiterated that point in his interview on Fox News Channel's The Daily Briefing with Dana Perino on Thursday.

As has been widely reported, Trump told Woodward during one of their interviews that he "played down" the coronavirus because he didn't want to create a panic. Woodward chalked that up to a failure of leadership.

"This is one of the saddest moments for this country," Woodward told Perino, "to have a leader who has failed to tell the truth, who has failed to warn the people."

But Perino pressed him on why he didn't come forward sooner with this information, if it was so important that the American people know. President Trump has asked the same thing.

“I felt strongly in May, when I learned about that January 28 meeting," Woodward replied. "I did not know about that meeting at that point. I -if there was at any point, Dana, here where I could have printed something in The Washington Post - I have access to the editor, Marty Baron, directly, his subeditors, if I think some story should be printed. All the discussion was about China. And, in May, I learned the truth. Quite frankly, when I learned it, I was shocked that the president did not step up in the opportunities he had, like the State of the Union message.”

Nearly as soon as the book controversy broke, Dr. Anthony Fauci went on Fox News to debunk it.

"I didn't see any discrepancies between what we told [Trump] and what he told the public," the doctor explained. Nor did he believe that the president was "distorting" anything.

Still, Woodward told Perino, "I believe, with overwhelming evidence, he is the wrong man for the job."

Asked if Joe Biden is the right man for the job, he said he couldn't answer that because he hasn't spent nearly as much time with him as he has Trump.