Bob Woodward's book lays out how one New York Times story changed the entire course of the Trump campaign

Donald Trump

  • Bob Woodward’s explosive new book, „Fear: Trump in the White House,“ lays out how one New York Times story changed the entire course of President Donald Trump’s campaign.
  • The August 2016 story led to an overhaul of the Trump campaign’s leadership.

Journalist Bob Woodward’s explosive new book, „Fear: Trump in the White House,“ lays out how one deeply sourced New York Times story detailing turmoil in President Donald Trump’s campaign changed the entirety of its course.

Business Insider obtained a copy of the book, being published by Simon & Schuster and set to be released Tuesday, in which the author reported on how the August 2016 Times story, headlined „The Failing Inside Mission to Tame Trump’s Tongue,“ upended the campaign and led to an entirely new leadership structure.

Woodward detailed how former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon, then running Breitbart News, called Republican mega-donor Rebekah Mercer after reading The Times story. 

„This is bad because we’re going to get blamed for this,“ Bannon told Mercer of what appeared to be Trump’s impending loss, according to Woodward. Mercer asked him to step in and run the campaign, saying then-campaign chairman Paul Manafort was a „disaster.“

Soon after, Mercer and her father, billionaire hedge fund manager Robert Mercer, contacted Trump and met with him at the Long Island home of New York Jets owner and fellow GOP mega-donor Woody Johnson.

„Manafort has to go,“ Rebekah told Trump, Woodward reported.

He asked her for a recommendation of who to run the campaign.

„Steve Bannon will come in,“ she said.

Bannon and Trump spoke later that night, with Bannon telling him that The Times story was „embarrassing.“

Trump took aim at Manafort, calling him „a stiff,“ Woodward said.

Bannon and Trump soon met at Trump’s Bedminster, New Jersey, golf club. They convened a gathering that also featured former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, then-New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, and former Fox News chairman Roger Ailes.

Ailes told Bannon the numbers were looking horrible for Trump and that the election would be a „blowout.“

Woodward wrote that Manafort soon entered the room, dressed in what was described as yachting attire, and was reamed out by Trump.

„Paul, am I a baby?“ Trump asked Manafort regarding The Times story. „Is that what you are saying, I’m a baby? You’re terrible on TV. You’ve got no energy. You don’t represent the campaign. I’ve told you nicely. You’re never going on TV again.“

Soon, Trump told Bannon he was going to be CEO of the campaign, agreeing that now-White House counselor Kellyanne Conway would become campaign manager. But Bannon argued that Manafort should remain chairman of the operation so to not cause a huge media kerfuffle over more internal turmoil.

Then, Manafort asked Bannon on the night of August 14 to meet at Trump Tower. Manafort wanted to discuss another Times story that would soon be released — one that said Manafort received more than $12.7 million in undisclosed payments from a pro-Russian Ukrainian political party.

Within days, Manafort was ousted from the campaign and Bannon and Conway were publicly named to their positions.

Woodward’s book has garnered widespread attention this week after initial excerpts were published by CNN and The Washington Post. Many of those anecdotes paint a picture of Trump as reckless, impulsive, and unable to grasp various domestic and foreign policies. Trump has blasted the book, calling it a work of „fiction.“

Woodward said he taped hundreds of interviews that took place for the book, which is written on „deep background,“ or not directly sourced to anyone. Woodward tried to reach Trump to interview him for the book, but the president ultimately did not agree to speak with the journalist.

Here are more revelations from the book so far:

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Source: Business insider

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