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'Nothing more could have been done': Trump's final phone call to Woodward

September 14, 2020. Summarized by summa-bot.

On August 14, the coronavirus pandemic was on fire in the US. More than 168,000 Americans had died, with more than 1,300 deaths that day alone. But when President Donald Trump called legendary journalist Bob Woodward, it was to find out one thing: He had recently learned that Woodward's new book "Rage" was done and would be coming out in September, and Trump wanted to find out how he'd be portrayed.

But when President Donald Trump called legendary journalist Bob Woodward, it was to find out one thing: He had recently learned that Woodward's new book "Rage" was done and would be coming out in September, and Trump wanted to find out how he'd be portrayed.

Trump's question to Woodward underscores the President's attitude toward the virus.

In another part of the conversation, Woodward told Trump there are parts of the book the President won't like.

"If Bob Woodward thought what I said was bad, then he should have immediately, right after I said it, gone out to the authorities so they can prepare and let them know," Trump said on Thursday.

Woodward said that when he heard Trump talking about the coronavirus being airborne and deadlier than the flu in February, he first had to go out and learn whether that was actually true, since so little was known about the virus and how it was spread at the time.

Trump had mentioned speaking to Chinese President Xi Jinping on February 6, and Woodward wondered if the President had learned those details based on his conversation with Xi. For months, Woodward said, he was chasing after a transcript of that call.

Trump also said last week that the calls with Woodward were "quick ones, not long ones. " In fact, the 18 interviews totaled nearly 10 hours.

Throughout their 18 interviews for the book, Trump sought Woodward's approval, repeatedly asking Woodward whether he was going to write a "good book. " The lobbying continued in their final conversation, when Woodward noted that one of Trump's accomplishments after the book had gone to press -- the agreement to normalize relations between Israel and the United Arab Emirates -- had earned Trump rare praise from New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman, who has been repeatedly critical of Trump.

A list of all of Woodward's interviews with Trump

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