Bob Woodward shared an April clip with late-night show host Stephen Colbert Monday where President Trump spoke of the dangers of the coronavirus, noting he "bailed out" of a White House room after someone sneezed.

Why it matters: Trump's comments to the veteran journalist regarding the coronavirus pandemic deeply contrast with what he has said publicly. The president argued for weeks that the virus would "disappear" and slow-walked economic lockdowns.

  • Trump has tweeted that Woodward withheld recordings of Trump saying his strategy was to intentionally downplay the threat of the coronavirus in February and March because "he knew they were good and proper answers."

Of note: Woodward told Colbert Trump's response makes him wonder if the president would bail on a rally if someone in the front sneezed.

  • Trump has said he's not worried about catching the virus at rally because he is "on stage and it's very far away ... and so I'm not at all concerned," per The Las Vegas Review-Journal.

What Trump told Woodward: "Bob, it's so easily transmissible, you wouldn't believe it ... I mean you could, you could be in the room ... I was in the White House a couple of days ago, meeting with 10 people in the Oval Office and a guy sneezed — innocently. Not a horrible ... you know, just a sneeze. The entire room bailed out, OK? Including me, by the way."

The other side: Trump told Fox News in an interview broadcast last Wednesday that he downplayed the virus' threat because he wanted to "show a calmness."

  • The president also accused Woodward of doing "hit jobs with everybody" on his books. Addressing Woodward's book, "Rage," about his presidency, Trump said: "I don't know if the book is good or bad — I have no idea. [I] probably, almost definitely, won't read it because I don't have time to read it."

Go deeper: Bob Woodward says it wasn't Trump's idea to restrict travel from China

Go deeper

Oct 26, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Key takeaways from the "60 Minutes" interviews with Trump and Biden

Combination image of President Trump and Democratic Presidential candidate former Vice President Joe Biden during the first presidential debate in Cleveland, Ohio on Sept. 29. Photo: Jim Watson, Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images

CBS' "60 Minutes" aired its interviews with President Trump and Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden Sunday evening, as the 2020 election rivals offered starkly different visions for the U.S.

The big picture: The show opened with Trump's interview with CBS' Lesley Stahl — which she noted "began politely, but ended regrettably, contentiously" after the president abruptly ended it, before moving on to Vice President Mike Pence, and then Biden and running mate Sen. Kamala Harris.

Updated 52 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Voters in Wisconsin, Michigan urged to return absentee ballots to drop boxes

Signs for Joe Biden are seen outside a home in Coon Valle, Wisconsin, on Oct. 3. Photo by KEREM YUCEL via Getty

Wisconsin Democrats and the Democratic attorney general of Michigan are urging voters to return absentee ballots to election clerks’ offices or drop boxes, warning that the USPS may not be able to deliver ballots by the Election Day deadline.

Driving the news: The Supreme Court rejected an effort by Wisconsin Democrats and civil rights groups to extend the state's deadline for counting absentee ballots to six days after Election Day, as long as they were postmarked by Nov. 3. In Michigan, absentee ballots must also be received by 8 p.m. on Election Day in order to be counted.

1 hour ago - Technology

Facebook warns of "perception hacks" undermining trust in democracy

Photo Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios. Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images

Facebook warned Tuesday that bad actors are increasingly taking to social media to create the false perception that they’ve pulled off major hacks of electoral systems or have otherwise seriously disrupted elections.

Why it matters: "Perception hacking," as Facebook calls it, can have dire consequences on people's faith in democracy, sowing distrust, division and confusion among the voters it targets.

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