President Trump went into friendlier territory Wednesday night—Sean Hannity's show on Fox News—to defend his interviews with Bob Woodward. On the show, he repeated his rationale for deliberately downplaying the seriousness of the coronavirus threat. "I'm the leader of the country, I can't be jumping up and down and scaring people," Trump told Hannity. "I don't want to scare people. I want people not to panic, and that's exactly what I did." More:
- Slamming Woodward: "He does hit jobs with everybody, he even did it on Obama ... constant hit jobs," Trump said of the journalist. "On [George W.] Bush, I guess, they did three books, they were all terrible. So I figured, you know, 'Let's give it a little shot, I'll speak to him.' It wasn't a big deal, I speak to him and let's see." Trump ended up speaking with Woodward 18 times, notes CNN.
- A question: On Twitter Thursday, Trump posed this question: "Bob Woodward had my quotes for many months. If he thought they were so bad or dangerous, why didn’t he immediately report them in an effort to save lives? Didn’t he have an obligation to do so? No, because he knew they were good and proper answers. Calm, no panic!" Trump reiterated the point at an afternoon news conference and blasted as "disgraceful" a reporter who began a question on the topic with, "Why did you lie ..." (Others have made the same point about Woodward, who has been defending his decision not to publish earlier.)