Serious questions have emerged about President Donald Trump following the publication of excerpts from Bob Woodward’s new book Fear. Media commentators have rounded on Trump and veteran journalists have expressed very strong concerns about his competence.
Among the revelations in Woodward’s book, he claims that White House staff have ignored or circumvented Trump’s orders and desires, including an order to assassinate the entire Syrian government. Staffers have also reportedly taken papers from Trump’s desk so he wouldn’t react to them and potentially issue dangerous orders. This has raised questions about whether Trump is really in charge or if those around him have taken effective control of the government.
Carl Bernstein, the veteran journalist who worked with Woodward on the Watergate scandal, told CNN about his concerns.
“[N]ow we have a coherent indisputable narrative that is absolutely chilling: the people closest to the president are saying they see their job as protecting the United States from the president of the United States. That he is the danger to the republic.”
“Now we have Trump naked about his presidency, about his recklessness, about his dishonesty, about his lack of ability. It is a frightening, damaging portrait,” he said.
Separately, conservative columnist Max Boot has called for Trump to be removed under the 25th Amendment. This provides for the replacement of a president who is unfit.
“[I]t’s time for President Trump to be removed from office via the 25th Amendment because he is clearly ‘unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office,” Boot wrote in the Washington Post.
However, Boot noted that the 25th Amendment requires a majority of the Cabinet to remove the president, which is unlikely to happen.
“That will never happen, because the Cabinet is packed with Trump toadies who compete with each other to deliver the most fawning praise of their supreme leader. But on the merits, it should happen,” he wrote.
President Trump and his White House have issued several denies and attacks on Bob Woodward, though they are unlikely to stem the tide of criticism. More calls for Trump’s removal are likely.