Bob Woodward: ‘I Have No F***ing Idea’ If Donald Trump Will Serve Out His First Term as President

Reporter Bob Woodward touched on a number of subjects pertaining to his new book on President Donald Trump on Wednesday, including on whether he could predict if the Trump administration would last even one term.

Woodward was speaking at New York’s 92nd Street Y to promote his latest piece, Fear: Trump Inside The White House, and was asked by an audience member to give odds on the prospective length of the billionaire’s first term.

“A disease as a journalist…where we want to report on the future to a question you don't know,” Woodward said. “And the future’s real hard. It’s a fair question but to be honest with you I have no f***ing idea.”

The comment was one of a number of quips made by Woodward, who also called for the fervid, emotional discourse surrounding Trump and his administration to be removed from journalism and the general public.

The book featured accusations of great dysfunction in the Trump administration, including top officials deriding the president’s intelligence and fitness for office together with stories of aides keeping documents from Trump in order to avoid potential disaster.

Woodward touched on the controversial op-ed written by a senior administration official and published by The New York Times a week ago, in which the writer claimed to be part of a “resistance” inside the White House protecting the country from some of Trump’s potentially damaging impulsive decisions.

The veteran Washington Post journalist and editor reiterated his stance that he would not have published the op-ed but also responded to a question about who the author might be.

“Maybe it’s Melania,” Woodward joked, “or maybe it’s someone who really knows Trump. I’m not seriously suggesting that, I’m just saying it may be somebody in the White House and who’s there and who’s a witness. The most important element in describing what really goes on is having witnesses.”

Woodard no idea trump president end The newly released book 'Fear' by Bob Woodward is displayed at Book Passage on September 11 in Corte Madera, California. Getty Images/Justin Sullivan

The answer to combating Trump’s alleged attack on the truth, according to Woodward, is vigorous reporting. But he urged those covering the administration not to focus on the special counsel’s investigation into whether there was collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia or even the president’s use of outright lies or falsehoods. Instead, explained Woodward, “what does he do as president” should be rooted out and reported.

“I hate to say this because this is an analytical point but [Trump] does not understand his own best interest often,” Woodward said.

Woodward also used comments made by one of the president’s sons, Eric, Wednesday morning about how Woodward had only written a sensationalized version of the Trump White House in order to “make three extra shekels…,” which many took as an anti-Semitic remark.

“Technically I’m not Jewish. The idea that anyone would talk like that, we shouldn’t have comments like that from anyone,” Woodward said. “It’s unfortunate, but I think you can’t kind of overreact to it. I think you kind of have to say, ‘Ok what does it mean? What did Eric Trump do? Who is he?' Still lots of questions about that in the investigation. So I’m not worried and I think it’s kind of taking the emotion expressed by somebody else and having an emotional reaction to it gets you off track.”

Join the Discussion