Bob Woodward thinks we have a lot to worry about.
“The things—some of the things—that Trump did and does jeopardizes the real national security,” Woodward said.
In particular, he highlighted an instance in which Trump complained to Defense Secretary James Mattis and other staff at an NSC meeting about the expense of U.S. forces abroad. Mattis reportedly said that “we’re doing this to prevent World War III.”
“The idea that the Secretary of Defense has to tell the president that all of these actions are designed to prevent the ultimate catastrophe,” Woodward said. “And Mattis goes on and says if we don’t keep these programs, which are very sensitive, the only deterrent program we have will be the nuclear option.”
Woodward goes on to say that he’s “never seen an instance when the president is so detached from the reality of what’s going on.”
The Trump administration has been on an offensive in recent weeks, seeking to discredit Woodward and the contents of his book. As recently as Monday morning, Trump called out the use of anonymous sources on Twitter, accusing Woodward of being “a liar who is like a Dem operative prior to the Midterms.”
For his part, Woodward told NBC that while the sources are anonymous, the incidents are not—he provided a date and time for each one that appeared in the book. “This is a war on truth by [Trump],” Woodward claimed.
And when asked about Mattis and Chief of Staff John Kelly’s denials of the comments they reportedly made about Trump, Woodward refused to say that they were lying, instead alleging that “they are not telling the truth.”
“These are political statements to protect their jobs,” he said. “Totally understandable.”