During an appearance on MSNBC’s “Deadline: White House” Thursday, the “Rage” author repeated his conclusion, after 19 interviews with Trump and decades of reporting on nine different presidents, that he’s never once seen anything akin to the nation’s current leader.
Trump is “not just breaking norms,” Woodward said. “We have a president who has forsaken his basic duty to protect the country, tell the truth, and organize and plan.”
He said Trump has abandoned his moral duty to do what’s best for the country. In the months leading up to the election, Trump has launched a multifaceted attack on the integrity of the electoral system to cast doubt on the eventual results. He has claimed Democrats will only win if they cheat and that he will only lose if the election is rigged.
“This is a moral failure and a leadership failure. This idea about the election ― he’s predicting and almost wishing for a quadruple trainwreck on Nov. 3,” Woodward said.
MSNBC host Nicole Wallace then referred to Trump’s disturbing refusal on Wednesday to commit to a peaceful transfer of power if his Democratic opponent Joe Biden wins. Wallace asked Woodward to weigh in on Trump “challenging the Constitution.”
“It’s not just challenging the Constitution,” Woodward said, “it’s putting a dagger in the Constitution.”
“And for the president of the United States to do that ― I don’t know whether there’s language to describe this,” he continued.
“What’s happened is: Trump has been like this from the beginning ― before he was elected president ― just saying outrageous things, doing outrageous things, and he’s made the country and the world numb.”
This article originally appeared on HuffPost and has been updated.