President Trump acknowledged Wednesday that he intentionally played down the deadly nature of the rapidly spreading coronavirus last winter as an attempt to avoid a “frenzy,” part of an escalating damage-control effort by his top advisers to contain the fallout from a forthcoming book by The Washington Post’s Bob Woodward.

Trump’s comments came hours after excerpts from the book and audio of some of the 18 separate interviews he conducted with the author were released, fueling a sense of outrage over the president’s blunt description of knowing that he was not telling the truth about a virus that has killed nearly 190,000 Americans.

Democrats, led by presidential nominee Joe Biden, denounced Trump’s actions as part of a deliberate effort to lie to the public for his own political purposes when other world leaders took decisive action to warn their people and set those nations on a better path to handling the pandemic.

“He knew and purposely played it down. Worse, he lied to the American people. He knowingly and willingly lied about the threat it posed to the country for months,” Biden said in front of the United Auto Workers training facility in Warren, Mich., where he delivered a speech on a “Made in America” plan for the economy.

Biden called Trump’s actions “a life and death betrayal of the American people.”

Trump said publicly that he did nothing wrong.

“So the fact is, I’m a cheerleader for this country. I love our country. And I don’t want people to be frightened,” Trump told reporters at the White House after announcing his potential Supreme Court nominees if he wins reelection. “I don’t want to create panic, as you say. And certainly, I’m not going to drive this country or the world into a frenzy. We want to show confidence. We want to show strength.”…


The Why did he do this?

Trump Thought He Could Spin Bob Woodward

CNN: “So confident was Trump he could generate a favorable depiction that he provided Woodward with his personal cellphone number, eager to speak with a man whose long record of interviewing his predecessors has not exactly produced flattering results.”

“In phone calls late at night from the White House residence, Trump spun his tenure as one of historic successes and unparalleled victory…”

“While Trump conducted two interviews for the book in the Oval Office surrounded by aides… his subsequent conversations were often only him and Woodward on the phone.”

“Trump went around the White House communications office and staff for several of the 16 phone interviews he did with Woodward… The official said Woodward would also call Trump directly without going through the communications office.”

Politico: How Trump fell into the Woodward trap.

image…Star Tribune