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A composite image showing US President Donald Trump and journalist Bob Woodward. Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images; Alex Wong/Getty Images; Business Insider

Bob Woodward says Trump called his book 'a fake' on Twitter 90 minutes after he warned the president it would be 'tough'


Bob Woodward said that President Donald Trump tweeted that his book was going to be "a fake" after he warned the president that his book was going to be "tough" on him.

Woodward — one of the two journalists that uncovered the Watergate scandal, and who has written books about the Trump, Obama, and Bush administrations — told CBS News' "60 Minutes" in an interview published Sunday that Trump decided to publicly dismiss the the book after he was given the warning.

Woodward said he delivered the warning on August 14 after Trump called to ask if Woodward could write about the normalization of relations between Israel and the United Arab Emirates, which Trump had announced.

Woodward said he told Trump it was too late — because his book had been sent to press — but that he told the president instead: "It's a tough book. There are going to be things that you are not gonna like, judgments that I made."
© Jonathan Ernst/Reuters
Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein, the reporters who covered the Watergate scandal, at the White House Correspondents' Association dinner in Washington, DC, in 2017. Jonathan Ernst/Reuters

Woodward said that Trump responded by saying: "Well, I didn't get you on this book. Maybe I'll get you on the next one."

Woodward then described the president's next actions: "An hour and a half later, he tweeted out that the Bob Woodward book is gonna be fake," he told "60 Minutes."

The full Trump tweet reads: "The Bob Woodward book will be a FAKE, as always, just as many of the others have been. But, believe it or not, lately I've been getting lots of GREAT books!"

The president also claimed in a previous tweet: "Everybody does phony books on Donald Trump and Republicans."

It is not clear if Trump had read any parts of the book or knew more details about what it would include before he decided to send the tweet.

Trump was, however, interviewed by Woodward 18 times for the book.

He was interviewed by Woodward himself over several months, totalling nine hours of interviews. Trump did those interviews despite aides advising him against it, because he believe he could "charm" the reporter, multiple reports said.

Among the book's revelations are that Trump deliberately downplayed the threat of the coronavirus in the early stages of the outbreak, and that he decided to order the military strike that killed top Iranian general Qassem Soleimani despite top advisors urging him not to do so.

Woodward broke the Watergate story, alongside Washington Post reporter Carl Bernstein, which led to the resignation of then-President Richard Nixon in the 1970s after they uncovered his administration's attempts to bug and steal documents from the Democratic National Committee headquarters.

His new book on Trump, "Rage," is due to be released on Tuesday.

In the "60 Minutes" interview, Woodward also said that Trump was "ridiculing me" after he asked whether the president was able to "understand the anger and the pain, particularly, Black people feel in this country."

Trump retweeted a tweet on Monday that said that Woodward "deserved to be ridiculed."

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