Jan 12, 2020

Bob Woodward's journey — from "a joke" to "very, very good"

Bob Woodward. Photo: Michael Kovac/Getty Images

In his Friday interview with Fox News' Laura Ingraham, President Trump let slip he's been talking to Bob Woodward for an upcoming book. But it was what he said about Woodward that caught my attention.

What he's saying: "I was interviewed by a very, very good writer, reporter," Trump told Ingraham. "I can say Bob Woodward. He said he's doing something and this time I said 'maybe I'll sit down.'"

Flashback: Before Woodward published his 2018 book on the Trump administration, titled "Fear," Trump expressed regret that he hadn't sat down with the legendary Washington Post reporter.

Woodward declined to comment.

Go deeper

Trump to Pompeo: "You did a good job on" NPR reporter

President Trump referenced Secretary of State Mike Pompeo's conflict with NPR's Mary Louise Kelly during Tuesday's announcement of the Israeli-Palestinian peace plan, saying that he "did a good job on her, actually."

"That reporter couldn't have done too good of a job on you yesterday. Think you did a good job on her, actually. ... Are you running for Senate? I guess the answer is no after that, huh?"

The backdrop: Pompeo accused Kelly of lying while setting up the terms of their interview, but did not deny her account of the post-interview conversation — namely, that he forced her to point out Ukraine on an unlabeled world map and shouted expletives at her.

Go deeper: Pompeo releases scathing statement against NPR reporter

Keep ReadingArrowJan 28, 2020

GOP Sen. Mike Lee says Iran briefing did not mention plots against 4 embassies

Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) said on CNN's "State of the Union" Sunday that the Trump administration did not brief him and other members of Congress that Iran was allegedly plotting attacks on four U.S. embassies, as President Trump claimed in an interview with Fox News on Friday.

Why it matters: The administration has come under fire for declining to provide specifics about the nature of the "imminent" threat that prompted the president to order the killing of Iranian Gen. Qasem Soleimani.

Go deeperArrowJan 12, 2020

Trump's sense of invincibility

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios.

President Trump often says he's the smartest person in the room on virtually every topic. Now, after taking several risks on what he privately calls "big shit" and avoiding catastrophe, Trump and his entire inner circle convey supreme self-confidence, bordering on a sense of invincibility.

The state of play: Three years into Trump's presidency, their view is the naysayers are always wrong. They point to Iran, impeachment, Middle East peace. Every day, Trump grows more confident in his gut and less deterrable. Over the last month, 10 senior administration officials have described this sentiment to me. Most of them share it.