Trump Sues Bob Woodward Over Audio Recordings

    Trump Sues Bob Woodward Over Audio Recordings
    Last updated Jan 31, 2023
    Image credit: Getty Images [via NBC News]


    • Former US Pres. Trump on Monday sued veteran investigative journalist Bob Woodward, who in October released audio recordings of interviews conducted with Trump during his last two years in office.
    • Although Trump consented to the interviews that were the basis of Woodward's 2020 book "Rage,” the lawsuit alleges Trump didn’t grant permission for releasing the interviews. The recordings were released alongside the audiobook "The Trump Tapes: Bob Woodward’s Twenty Interviews with President Donald Trump."
    • In the lawsuit, Trump claims he told Woodward the interviews were for his personal use for the sole purpose of accurately quoting the then-president. One of the most high-profile audio clips concerns Trump confiding to Woodward the threat of the COVID pandemic while asserting an intention to downplay dangers in public messaging.
    • Trump’s suit is seeking more than $49M in damages, and names publisher Simon & Schuster, and its parent company Paramount Global, as co-defendants.
    • Lawyers for Trump calculated the damages because the audiobook sold more than 2M copies at $24.99 each. They added it was exclusive of punitive damages, attorney’s fees, and costs.
    • Woodward rose to prominence when he was part of uncovering the Watergate scandal in the 1970s. Since then he has written several books on presidents based on exclusive access he’s been granted to administrations.


    Democratic narrative

    Trump, who has a history of filing frivolous lawsuits that go nowhere, is at it again. He expects anyone to believe that after sitting for dozens of interviews with Woodward, throughout two book projects, he didn’t authorize the release of the recordings? Like his suit against Hillary Clinton and media companies, this Woodward case is going to be dead on arrival.

    Pro-Trump narrative

    As Woodward surely knows, consent to record interviews for a book project is different than permission to release those recordings, especially if they’re going to be edited to misrepresent what the subject has said. Woodward saw an opportunity to maximize revenue from his access, and at the very least Trump should share in that compensation.

    Cynical narrative

    From former Trump aids Mark Esper to Deborah Birx to Mark Meadows, many others have written "tell all" books about the former president in an attempt to cash in. Not surprisingly, the sales of these have largely flopped. If the warnings in this canon of Trump revelations were so severe, why didn't the authors come forward earlier in the public interest? Americans see through the banal and hollow intent of authors trying to capitalize on the lucrative book market.

    Political split



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