Book or Smear?

Bob Woodward wrote a book about President Donald Trump, and his “on-the-record” sources are coming out of the…woodwork…to deny they said the things Woodward claims they said or that they were misrepresented in misleading ways (redundancy deliberate).

I have to ask: does Woodward have any “on the record” sources about whom he hasn’t seemed to have lied? He claims to have tapes and transcripts of those conversations and of his claimed conversations with anonymous “sources.”

Regarding the latter, he should explain why we should believe anonymous sources who’ve demonstrated their dishonesty by speaking against their terms of employment if not their oaths of office.

Publish the tapes and transcripts, or there’s no reason to believe they exist.  If they don’t exist, there’s no reason to believe those “on the record” sources were honestly cited or that those anonymous “sources” actually exist.

Sadly, even the Wall Street Journal‘s author of the piece at the link, Rebecca Ballhaus, has chosen to go along with Woodward’s game.  Citing a statement by Rob Porter in which he said he was struck by the selective and often misleading portrait in the book, she wrote,

Mr Porter didn’t dispute any specific elements….

Gary Cohn said in a separate statement that that the book does not accurate[ly] portray my experience at the White House.  Ballhaus again:

He, too, didn’t dispute any specific anecdotes.

This is a cynically misleading over-parsing of their statements, carefully designed to leave the impression that Woodward’s claims are true, just because the two men chose not to enumerate and explicitly deny every jot and tittle of Woodward’s missive.

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