Photo: White House via CNN

This fascinating photo — included in black and white in Bob Woodward's forthcoming "Rage" — shows the author in the Oval Office during a 1-hour, 14-minute interview on Dec. 19 — the first of Woodward's 18 Trump interviews.

What they're saying: "Trump tries to show off and impress Woodward — giving a tour of the Oval Office, discussing his preference for long neckties, and showing Woodward the hideaway office, which he smirked and called the 'Monica Room,'" CNN's Jamie Gangel reports.

  • "Trump even asked the White House photographer to take a picture of him and Woodward in the Oval Office."

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Sep 15, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Democrats use Bob Woodward tape in new anti-Trump ad

On publication day for journalist Bob Woodward's "Rage," 'the DNC War Room is marking the moment with a TV ad, "Red Handed," using Woodward's recordings of President Trump.

The state of play: Trump told Woodward in February that he was downplaying the coronavirus to the public in order to avoid panic. The president continued to compare COVID-19 to the common flu and insisted it would "disappear.

What to watch: The ad will air in battleground states and on cable in D.C. — meaning it's likely to reach 1600 Pennsylvania.

Trump says he wanted to assassinate Bashar al-Assad but Mattis was opposed to it

President Trump on Tuesday confirmed that he wanted to order an assassination against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, but former Secretary of Defense James Mattis "was against it."

What he's saying: "I would have rather taken him out. I had him all set. Mattis didn't want to do it," Trump said on "Fox & Friends." His comments confirm a detail reported in journalist Bob Woodward's 2018 book "Fear."

Trump says he "up-played" the coronavirus

President Trump said during an ABC town hall Tuesday evening that he did not downplay the coronavirus, adding "in many ways, I up-played it in terms of action."

Reality check: The president told journalist Bob Woodward during an on-the-record interview in March that he intentionally understated the severity of COVID-19 in public statements to avoid inciting panic.