Bob Woodward’s “Rage” to detail letters between Trump and Kim

Bob Woodward’s “Rage” to detail letters between Trump and Kim
Source: Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images

Longtime Washington Post journalist Bob Woodward is set to release a new book on September 15 about the Trump administration titled “Rage.”

According to the publisher, Simon and Schuster, the book will contain exclusive reporting on a bevy of domestic and national security decisions made by the Trump White House, including this summer’s social unrest and the COVID-19 crisis and its economic fallout.

One of the sources for the book is reportedly John Dowd, one of President Trump’s lawyers during the Special Council Investigation into the president’s behavior from 2017 to 2019.

The official preview of the book notes that the book “shows how Trump’s responses to the crises of 2020 were rooted in the instincts, habits and style he developed during his first three years as president.”

It will also contain information from 25 personal letters exchanged between Trump and Kim Jong Un, the leader of North Korea over the past several years. Meetings between Trump and Kim took place in 2018 and 2019, the first ever official meetings between the two countries.

As a part of the exchange between the two leaders, Kim, widely viewed as a dictator, reportedly likened their relationship as something out of a “fantasy film.”

Currently, the relationship between the United States and North Korea is reportedly on the back burner for the Trump administration. Despite the US claiming that the two countries have de-escalated tensions since the talks, North Korea continues to advance its nuclear capabilities, according to experts from the United Nations.

Trump’s letters previewed

Although the letters Woodward claims to have access to have not yet been released, during his time in office Trump has repeatedly alluded to the correspondence – at one point apparently posting a letter from Kim on his Twitter account.

In that letter, dated July 6, 2018, which was several weeks after their first meeting, Kim writes that the talks were “indeed the start of a meaningful journey” and that he firmly believes in the pair’s “unique approach” to forge a diplomatic future between the two nations.

Several other letters were known to exist, including one that on June 11, 2019, Trump referred to as “beautiful,” “very personal” and “very warm.”

Although Trump at one point said during a campaign rally in 2018 that Kim “wrote me beautiful letters and we fell in love,” it appears that not all of the letters between the two were unequivocally hopeful.

In a tweet dated August 10, 2019, Trump said that he received another letter from Kim. “much of it complaining about the ridiculous and expensive [joint military] exercises” between the US and South Korea.

Over the course of the negotiations between the two countries, there were reportedly offers from Kim to stop testing short range missiles if Trump agreed to end the joint training with South Korea.

During their latest official meeting in Hanoi, Vietnam in early 2019, Kim offered to take steps to reduce its nuclear arsenal if the US agreed to lift sanctions on the country. Trump refused this proposal and walked away from the summit without an agreement.

Woodward’s history

Bob Woodward has long been known as one of the most influential and important US reporters of his generation.

Over the course of his career, he has won myriad awards for his journalism, including major contributions to two pieces of reporting for The Washington Post that won the Pulitzer Prize in journalism.

In 1973, it was his work on President Nixon’s Watergate scandal that propelled him to national attention. His reporting on the scandal was crucial in uncovering the criminal acts that led to Nixon’s resignation in 1974.

More recently, Woodward has reported on the Trump administration. In 2018, he released a book called “Fear,” which focused on both international and domestic issues that were prominent during the beginning to midpoint of the Trump presidency, including the US pulling out of the Paris Climate Accords and racial unrest in Charlottesville.

It also focused on the Robert Mueller investigation and the administration’s relationship with Russia. At the time, Woodward argued that “too many people have lost their perspective and become emotionally unhinged about Trump,” suggesting that his reporting on the White House was only concerned with facts and evidence.

Trump’s response to Woodward’s first book was negative. He claimed it was “a bad book” with a lot of “credibility problems” and his press secretary at the time, Sarah Sanders, said the book was made up of “fabricated stories.”

In the lead up to Woodward’s new book, Trump has characterized it as “fake,” although he has also previously said Woodward was a “very good writer.”

In 2019, Woodward was asked about his views on comparisons of today’s events to the Watergate era. He responded by saying that “one thing you learn about Trump: He’s a fighter. He, in fact, loves to fight. He seeks combat.

“And so, we’re in a fight. And it, quite likely, next year is just going to be a bloody year because the country is divided,” he added, referring to 2020.

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