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Woodward: Historians examining the Trump era will ask ‘What the F happened to America?’

Bob Woodward says historians writing about Donald Trump’s presidency and his handling of the coronavirus will be asking, “What the F happened to America?”

The veteran journalist and “Rage” author criticized Trump’s handling of the pandemic in an interview Tuesday with CNN President Jeff Zucker as part of the network’s Citizen by CNN conference.

Asked about Trump saying he would give himself a perfect grade on his administration’s coronavirus response — Trump said on Monday that “on the job itself, we take an A+” — Woodward said, “I’m quite frankly embarrassed for him that he would say that, because all Americans know that 200,000 were killed.”

“It’s almost like denying the nose on your face,” Woodward, 77, added.

His comments come after Trump told him in an interview for the Pulitzer Prize winner’s latest book that he sought to downplay the virus in public while acknowledging its dangers in private.

Woodward said Tuesday that Trump failed to act because “he’s obsessed with reelection.”

“He’s failed to build a team, he harasses people, he attacks people who work for him. This impulse decision-making, I’ve never seen anything like it, in the presidency or any institution,” the Washington Post journalist said.

“We see now with the Supreme Court issue he’s shifted the spotlight,” Woodward said, referring to the death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg last week at 87. “He’s absolutely delighted — this is an issue that’s very important to his base, to Evangelicals. So the death of Ruth Bader Ginsburg is one of these events in history that has changed the entire dynamic.”

Responding to Zucker’s question about whether Americans should be worried about the state of democracy, Woodward called the Trump administration’s COVID-19 handling a “monumental failure.”

“The historians I know are going to be writing about this for decades, and they’re going to say, ‘What the F happened to America in 2016, 2019 and 2020?” Woodward exclaimed.

Tags American history Bob Woodward CNN Coronavirus Donald Trump Jeff Zucker Rage Ruth Bader Ginsburg U.S. history
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