Woodward: Trump’s Personal Attorney Told Mueller He Can’t Be Trusted

Details from the Watergate sleuth’s forthcoming Trump book leaked to CNN and the Washington Post.

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Bob Woodward’s highly anticipated book about the Trump White House comes out on September 11, but today the internet is alive with leaked excerpts, some of which Kevin Drum wrote about here.

Via Sarah Posner, this bit from CNN also seems notable.

[Trump’s then-personal attorney John] Dowd and Trump’s current personal attorney Jay Sekulow went to Mueller’s office and re-enacted the mock interview. Their goal: to argue that Trump couldn’t possibly testify because he was incapable of telling the truth.
 
“He just made something up. That’s his nature,” Dowd said to Mueller.
That Trump lies constantly is taken for granted in this topsy-turvy world of ours. But the fact that, according to Woodward, Trump’s own lawyer told Mueller that the president can’t be trusted is astounding. 
The passage is an unprecedented glimpse behind the scenes of Mueller’s secretive operation — for the first time, Mueller’s conversations with Trump’s lawyers are captured.
 
“I need the president’s testimony,” Mueller said. “What was his intent on Comey? … I want to see if there was corrupt intent.”
Despite Dowd’s efforts, Trump continued to insist he could testify. “I think the President of the United States cannot be seen taking the fifth,” Trump said.
 
Dowd’s argument was stark: “There’s no way you can get through these. … Don’t testify. It’s either that or an orange jump suit.”
 
What he couldn’t say to Trump, according to Woodward, was what Dowd believed to be true: “You’re a fucking liar.”
Read more at CNN and WaPo.

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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