Fear by Bob Woodward

Fear by Bob Woodward

Author:Bob Woodward
Language: eng
Format: epub
Publisher: Simon & Schuster


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Mattis and Gary Cohn had several quiet conversations about The Big Problem: The president did not understand the importance of allies overseas, the value of diplomacy or the relationship between the military, the economy and intelligence partnerships with foreign governments.

They met for lunch at the Pentagon to develop an action plan.

One cause of the problem was the president’s fervent belief that annual trade deficits of about $500 billion harmed the American economy. He was on a crusade to impose tariffs and quotas despite Cohn’s best efforts to educate him about the benefits of free trade.

How could they convince and, in their frank view, educate the president? Cohn and Mattis realized they were nowhere close to persuading him. The Groundhog Day–like meetings on trade continued and the acrimony only grew.

“Let’s get him over here to the Tank,” Mattis proposed. The Tank is the Pentagon’s secure meeting room for the Joint Chiefs of Staff. It might focus him.

“Great idea,” Cohn said. “Let’s get him out of the White House.” No press; no TVs; no Madeleine Westerhout, Trump’s personal secretary, who worked within shouting distance of the Oval Office. There wouldn’t even be any looking out the window, because there were no windows in the Tank.

Getting Trump out of his natural environment could do the trick. The idea was straight from the corporate playbook—a retreat or off-site meeting. They would get Trump to the Tank with his key national security and economic team to discuss worldwide strategic relations.

Mattis and Cohn agreed. Together they would fight Trump on this. Trade wars or disruptions in the global markets could savage and undermine the precarious stability in the world. The threat could spill over to the military and intelligence community.

Mattis couldn’t understand why the U.S. would want to pick a fight with allies, whether it was NATO, or friends in the Middle East, or Japan—or particularly with South Korea.



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