by Sharon Rondeau
(Sep. 15, 2021) — According to 45th President of the United States Donald J. Trump on Tuesday evening, the claim made by Washington Post writers Bob Woodward and Robert Costa in an upcoming book alleging Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Gen. Mark Milley pledged to his Chinese counterpart to warn of an impending US “attack” is “fake news.”
Instead, Trump claimed, the narrative was “concocted by a weak and ineffective General together with two authors who I refused to given an interview to because they write fiction, not fact.”
Whether or not by “General,” Trump meant Milley or someone else is not stated.
The book, “Peril,” published by Simon & Schuster, will be available September 21. The publisher’s promotional summary of the work does not invoke Milley’s name, but rather, states that it “represents the culmination of Bob Woodward’s news-making trilogy on the Trump presidency” and provides a glimpse into “Biden’s presidency as he faces the challenges of a lifetime…”
According to CNN, which reports it received an advance copy of the book, the authors focused on the last days of the Trump White House, attempting to paint a picture of a president who had gone “rogue” as a result of his “crushing election loss.”
Woodward, of Watergate fame and a frequent public speaker, and Costa, formerly of National Review and Washington Post writer since 2013, reportedly say that Milley “single-handedly took secret action to limit Trump from potentially ordering a dangerous military strike or launching nuclear weapons” and “called a secret meeting in his Pentagon office on January 8 to review the process for military action, including launching nuclear weapons. Speaking to senior military officials in charge of the National Military Command Center, the Pentagon’s war room, Milley instructed them not to take orders from anyone unless he was involved.”
“Peril” is Woodward’s third book about the Trump presidency, preceded by “Fear: Trump in the White House” and “Rage.” Considered by many to be a “legendary journalist,” Woodward has admitted, while promoting “Rage” on a television tour, that he is opposed to Trump’s policies.
For “Rage,” Trump provided interviews to Woodward, while for “Peril,” Trump claims he “refused” to provide an interview since the authors “write fiction, not fact.” According to CNN in August 2020 as to “Rage,” “In January, Trump revealed he had sat down with Woodward for the upcoming book, which came as a surprise after he was harshly critical of ‘Fear.’ Woodward had repeatedly offered Trump the opportunity to be interviewed for that book, but Trump pretended he had never received the requests.”
In a CNN article published Wednesday titled, “The peril of Trump keeps growing nearly 8 months after he left the White House,” Stephen Collinson contends:
Add another evidence dump to the growing case that a second Donald Trump presidency would be more extreme and dangerous than the first.
In new examples of the threat the ex-President poses, a bombshell book by Washington Post legend Bob Woodward and his newspaper stablemate and co-author, Robert Costa, laid bare another view into the frightening, unchained few weeks inside Trump’s inner circle around the Capitol insurrection.
The problem posed by Trump is now not an aberrant past presidency — it’s the corrosive impact he could have on the nation in the future.
Although determining the allegations about Milley to be “Fake News,” in his statement Tuesday evening Trump was highly critical of the Joint Chiefs chairman and presented a hypothetical situation should the claims prove accurate. If so, Trump wrote, “…I assume he would be tried for TREASON in that he would have been dealing with his Chinese counterpart behind the President’s back and telling China that he would be giving them notification ‘of an attack.’ Can’t do that!”
In the wake of “the worst withdrawal from a country, Afghanistan, in U.S. history, leaving behind many dead and wounded soldiers, many American citizens, and $85 Billion worth of the newest and most sophisticated Military equipment in the world, and our Country’s reputation,” Trump wrote, “Actions should be taken immediately against Milley, and better generals in our Military, of which we have many, should get involved so that another Afghanistan disaster never happens again. Remember, I was the one who took out 100% of the ISIS Caliphate. Milley said it couldn’t be done!”
Trump also denied having any plan to “attack China.” “For the record, I never even thought of attacking China—and China knows that. The people that fabricated the story are sick and demented, and the people who print it are just as bad. In fact, I’m the only President in decades who didn’t get the U.S. into a war—a well known fact that is seldom reported.”
According to journalism lecturer Nita Wiggins in 2018, Woodward said he was surprised at Trump’s 2016 win and that “let’s face it, we’ve (journalists have) become lazy. And we have to stop becoming lazy. It’s about the quality of the information.”
“Mr. Woodward appeared on Overtime, the youtube edition of HBO’s Real Time with Bill Maher television show,” Wiggins added. “The acclaimed journalist and I are on the same page. Journalists are falling down on meeting their responsibilities; Mr. Woodward named himself.”