“Never interrupt your enemy when he’s making a mistake,” Napoleon Bonaparte is alleged to have said. Timely advice to that persistent faction on the political left who mistakenly believe that someone, anyone, should take Donald Trump’s Twitter account away from him. In his latest book, “Fear: Trump in the White House,” Bob Woodward confirms the wisdom of this Napoleonic aphorism, demonstrating that Trump’s tweets are important allies to the American left as self-incriminating pieces of evidence that will one day send him to prison, and White House aides are desperately trying to interrupt, or at least control those tweets.
Woodward also explodes the perennially advanced theory that Trump is a kind of evil genius with a Grand Strategy lurking behind his baffling cacophony of tweets and bizarrely moronic pronouncements. It is universally held by those close to the “president” that Trump is without question – and here the easily offended are encouraged to leave the room – a fucking idiot.
The cavalcade of horrors that is the current White House is masterfully detailed in Woodward’s 448 page tome, due out September 11. Many of Woodward’s sources are quoted on “deep background,” meaning their words may be used provided their identities are protected. Hardly surprising given the notorious vindictiveness of the subject. The book opens by relating an incident where former Chief Economic Advisor Gary Cohn steals an unsigned letter from Trump’s desk. The letter would have withdrawn the United States from a critical trade agreement with South Korea, jeopardizing America’s ability to detect an early missile launch from North Korea. This is typical of Trump’s obsession with saving money by making America richer at the expense of endangering national security, and is a persistent nightmare for White House staffers.
Donald Trump’s indifference to national security is a recurring theme of the book, as are his laziness, his proclivity for ignoring work and watching TV, his pathological inability to tell the truth, his rudeness, his temper, his cruelty. Woodward confirms what we already guessed, Donald Trump is a very bad, very stupid man.
Robert Harrington is an American expat living in Britain. He is a portrait painter.