Journalist Bob Woodward said that President Trump "failed" by continuing to downplay the threat of COVID-19 early this year, even as he privately expressed fear over it to Woodward after being warned by national security officials in late January that COVID-19 would be the worst pandemic in a century.
'I get along very well with Erdoğan, even though you're not supposed to, because everyone says, "What a awful guy".
In his new book about the Trump presidency, titled 'Rage, ' Mr Woodward, citing sources, says the plan was first brought to the president by Health and Human Services Secretary Alexander Azar, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention chief Robert Redfield and Anthony Fauci, the top federal infectious disease expert. "It's amusing, the relationships I have, the tougher and meaner they are, the better I get along with them, you ought to explain that to me some day, but maybe it's not a bad thing".
"I can tell you the relationships I have, the tougher and meaner they are, the better I get along with them, ' Trump is heard telling Woodward in a sound clip that debuted on the 'Today" show Monday. "The easy ones are the ones I maybe don't like as much or don't get along with as much", the president continued.
"You'll explain that to me someday, OK?" Maybe it's not a bad thing. Trump has talked up having good relationships with those three, while criticizing North Atlantic Treaty Organisation members for not paying enough.
Asked Monday if he planned to release more tapes from his interviews with the president, Woodward said he might. Then, when it exploded in March - as you know, there were 30,000 new cases a day - publishing something at that point would not have been telling people anything they didn't know. It's amusing the relationships I have, the tougher and meaner they are, the better I get along with them. I'm getting to get along with the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia, MBS.
South Korea has always been an American ally.
"If there was any suggestion that I had that this was about the United States, I would have, of course, published", he said.
In Rage, Woodward quotes Trump as describing COVID-19 as "deadly stuff" in February, but the president admits he wanted to "play it down".
'Yes. But Dan Coats, who was the number one intelligence officer in the country did not have proof, ' Woodward said Monday to NBC's Savannah Guthrie's questioning. But he, indeed, harbored the suspicion'.