Watergate journalist Bob Woodward did not commit to releasing all his tape-recorded conversations with President Trump before the election.
Woodward said he would feel uncomfortable publicly releasing all his conversations with the president because they contain unproven or untruthful statements.
“To your point, though, about nothing sort’ve shaking Trump voters from Trump, do you believe that if they listen to all 18 or 19 of your interviews, they might come to the conclusion you came to, that he is … you conclude that he is the wrong man for the job. And I guess the second part of that is will you release all your tapes before the election?” MSNBC’s Nicolle Wallace asked.
“Well, I can’t release them all. I mean, it’s nine hours and 41 minutes,” Woodward said.
“Why not?” Wallace pressed.
“I’ve released 38 excerpts of it. ‘Cause I want to deal with the main issues. I want to, as Trump has said, make sure he has his say. And you go through long interviews with Trump, as people who’ve done it know, he will say some things that don’t exactly check out and are not proved,” Woodward continued, prompting Wallace to reply in laughter, “You think?”
“Why not release all of them?” Wallace asked again.
Woodward said he would “eventually in history” but argued that many remarks by the president “are not true.”
Woodward released a series of tapes that caused controversy just before the release of his book, including one conversation where the president said he wanted to play down the coronavirus pandemic “always” to prevent panic. On Sunday night, Woodward spoke with CNN host Anderson Cooper and played audio of several interviews with the president discussing the judiciary and his nominee Neil Gorsuch, most of which were integrated into his new book.
In the tapes, Trump talked about his presidential legacy as being defined by his judicial appointments and declined to criticize Gorsuch, who was confirmed by the Senate to replace the late conservative Justice Antonin Scalia. The conversations spanned from December 2019 to this summer.
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