The legendary Washington Post journalist Bob Woodward just released tapes from 18 interviews he had with Donald Trump over the past year. In tapes from as early as February, Trump acknowledges that the coronavirus was a serious threat to the country, that it was transmitted through the air, and that he wanted to downplay the risks.
“It goes through air, Bob. That’s always tougher than the touch. You know the touch, you don’t have to touch things. Right?… It’s also more deadly than your, you know, your strenuous flus… This is deadly stuff… I wanted to always play it down. I still like playing it down, because I don’t want to create a panic.”
He of course went on to deny the danger of the virus and discourage wearing masks. As damning as this is, it is nothing compared to other tapes released today, which date back to before his presidency.
Here is a tape of a Trump interview from September 10th, 2001:
“I really shouldn’t be telling you this, but I have it on good authority that tomorrow, Al Qaeda—you know, I really have a very good relationship with Al Qaeda—is going to hijack several planes, and crash them into the World Trade Center and The Pentagon. I know, it’s really extraordinary. This jacking of planes is really something. The thing is I can’t go telling everyone about it because later today I’m selling a property just a block away from the World Trade Center and I can’t even tell you what would happen to the property value if I say anything. It would just—poof—up in smoke the property value… is what would happen.”
And this tape which is dated December 6th, 1941:
“You wouldn’t even believe this, Bob, but my good friend General Tojo, who is very respected and very highly uhhh… I guess thought of, is going to bomb Pearl Harbor tomorrow. Now this doesn’t leave this room you understand, because Tojo has said some very nice and really incredible things about me, and I wouldn’t want to go against that. Plus he has some very fine friends named Hitler and Mussolini who are very tough leaders which is something I very strongly respect. Anyway, this thing is going to be huge. Something like 2,400 people are going to die, give or take, but to be perfectly honest with you, they’re a bunch of losers and suckers for even being stuck in this whole military business. Let me tell you, this day will be extremely… infamous. It’ll practically live in infamy. This day should just buy a condo in infamy because that’s where it’s going to live—and you know I would be the one to sell it a condo because I build the finest condos. I’m a tremendous builder.”
And here is one from April 14th, 1865:
“This John Wilkes Booth is really– you know he’s one of the finest actors I’ve ever seen. Just really tremendous. They should give this guy an Oscar if they ever invent those. Tomorrow he is going to Ford’s Theatre—honestly a dump of a theater. I hate to break it to you but this theater is nowhere near the level of… goodness of some of the theaters I’ve built. So he’s going there to, I guess, sort of shoot President Abraham Lincoln in the head. You know, Abraham Lincoln, he freed the slaves which I’ve heard from quite a lot of people was maybe not the best idea. Freeing the slaves was a very overrated thing, I think. How will they know what to do if no one tells them? And I would warn President Lincoln about this plan—believe me, I would—but I just don’t want him to panic.”