Fear Book Summary By Bob Woodward

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Fear, written by veteran journalist Bob Woodward in 2018, is an expose into the Trump administration.

It takes readers inside the White House and reveals a deeply divided administration with many key players attempting to control events even as they undermine one another.

Woodward makes it clear that this dysfunction leaves the door wide open for domestic and foreign crises to play out unchecked.

With his years of experience reporting on political topics, Woodward provides a unique, behind-the-scenes look at President Trump's first year in office.

Readers will be shocked by what they discover as they read Fear -- and alarmed at the possibility of similar behavior continuing, both during Trump's tenure and beyond.

Fear Book

Book Name: Fear (Trump in the White House)

Author(s): Bob Woodward

Rating: 4.1/5

Reading Time: 22 Minutes

Categories: Politics

Author Bio

Bob Woodward is a distinguished journalist and associate editor at the Washington Post, with an extensive 47-year career in the paper.

He’s renowned for his work covering the Watergate scandal alongside Carl Bernstein, for which they both won Pulitzer Prizes.

Since then, Woodward has become celebrated for writing numerous blockbuster books such as Obama’s Wars and The Last of the President’s Men.

His most recent book Fear: Trump in the White House is gaining immense traction amongst readers around the world.

Uncovering The Trump White House: Investigating Through Bob Woodward’s Books

Trump White House

With Bob Woodward’s Fear, readers get an inside look at the Trump White House.

Drawing on hundreds of hours of interviews and firsthand accounts from those who have been in close proximity to the president, Woodward paints a vivid portrait of what truly goes on behind the Oval Office’s closed doors.

In these sections, you’ll hear stories about the difficulties this administration faces and its chaotic interpersonal dynamics.

You’ll discover which literary titan Trump compared his tweets to, who within his cabinet had the courage to call him a “moron,” and how many hours of cable news he watched every day.

Essentially, Fear provides unprecedented insight into one of the most controversial administrations this country has ever seen – one that can only be related by someone who has reported it firsthand.

How Steve Bannon Used His Political Savvy To Help Win Donald Trump The White House

When Steve Bannon called Rebekah Mercer for advice in August of 2016, the Trump campaign was in serious trouble.

With Donald Trump trailing 20 points behind Hillary Clinton in the polls and with reports of disorganization and dysfunction reigning over the campaign, it seemed as though all hope was lost.

The results of that fateful call would prove otherwise; with Mercer’s urging to “save the sinking boat,” Bannon took on the role of chief strategist with just 85 days before the general election.

By focusing on hot-button issues like immigration, jobs and foreign wars, Bannon turned things around for Trump–but even if he hadn’t, his team wasn’t prepared to win in any case.

Despite his eventual victory, Trump had not spent time organizing a transition team or preparing to fill the 4,000 jobs necessary when becoming president–something Clinton had been prepping her whole life for.

It’s obvious that Mercer saw an opportunity nobody else did but few can deny that if things had swung differently during those final months of 2016–when everything was looking so bleak for then-candidate Donald Trump–his team probably wouldn’t have been ready for a victory at all.

The Trump Administration: How A Firebrand President Picked His Aides And Shook Up Washington

When President-elect Donald Trump began selecting his cabinet members, he sought out people he trusted and who shared many of his values.

He chose Reince Priebus to be the liaison between the Trump team and the Republican Party.

Jim “Mad Dog” Mattis was selected as Secretary of Defense, despite Steve Bannon preferring a more conservative choice.

For Secretary of State, Trump named Rex Tillerson, while Steve Mnuchin and Gary Cohn were chosen for their roles in the economic team following their experiences with Goldman Sachs.

However, even as Trump put together his cabinet and fulfilled his campaign promises to get rid of ISIS, he was shook by news coming from intelligence community.

During a meeting before his inauguration, director of FBI James Comey briefed him on evidence that showed organized Russian interference during the 2016 elections – including compromising evidence from 2013 concerning two prostitutes in Moscow.

This greatly alarmed Trump and became a determining factor for the Flynn case.

Trump’s Difficult Journey Through Afghanistan Policy: Forced Choice Between Unsatisfactory Options


The issue of Afghanistan posed yet another point of contention at the Trump White House.

Trump had promised his voters to pull troops out of Afghanistan while on the campaign trail, and he was very vocal about it, even going so far as to call the mission a “total disaster” and a “waste of billions”.

However, this plan was met with resistance from many parties- in particular, National Security Advisor H.R McMaster who found himself pushing for a new approach to handling the situation – known as the R4 plan – which sought to realign resources towards more stable areas while involving regional powers like India and trying to cut back on corruption.

On the other hand, Bannon advocated for shifting control of Afghanistan from the military to the CIA with paramilitary forces stepping in, training local soldiers and moving forward from there.

In spite of Bannon’s hard push for it, this plan was not embraced by Trump or the CIA.

Ultimately, Trump was left with no choice but to go along with McMaster’s plan – adding 4,000 troops in Afghanistan – a result which bitter disappointment among him and his team members.

Trump’S Refusal To Listen To Facts And Admit Mistakes Highlights His Philosophy Of Never Showing Weakness

It’s no secret that Donald Trump’s views on trade are not in line with those of the majority of economists, many of his advisors included.

Gary Cohn, former president of Goldman Sachs and economic advisor to Trump, had countless pages of data printed up to try and get him to see the other side on trade deals.

Despite this effort he remained immovable on most subjects when it came to trade.

Trump was unimpressed by Cohn’s data-driven approach, instead believing that politicians were responsible for the decline in good factory jobs in America and pushed Globalism over Americanism.

He refused to read any evidence against his beliefs and called for someone to draft a document to get the United States out of KORUS as well as NAFTA.

When his advisors tried to explain about the benefits of free-trade agreements such as NAFTA and how cancelling it could severely damage families in rural parts of America who had voted for him, he simply responded “But they’re screwing us, and we gotta do something.” Unfortunately none of these conversations swayed him from his original stance and he took steps towards drafting a document giving the mandatory 180 day notice period to pull out from NAFTA before being stopped.

Porter, Cohn, And Mattis: The Secret Heroes Of The Trump White House

Rob Porter was a Harvard-educated lawyer and former Senate intern who worked as White House staff secretary for President Trump.

His job was to make sure things ran smoothly and was in effect, protecting the President from distractions, potentially harmful influences, and his own worst tendencies.

On some occasions, Porter worked with senior aides like Gary Cohn and James Mattis to keep dangerous paperwork away from the president before he had a chance to sign it.

For instance, when Trump demanded the 180-day notice to leave the KORUS trade agreement or the NAFTA free trade agreement, they would move quickly to remove it from his desk before he even saw it.

This only worked because of Trump’s remarkable ability to forget something once it stopped competing for attention.

If Porter managed to keep him away from anything related another big presidential order such as NAFTA, then days or even weeks could go by before Trump noticed that nothing had happened and demanded another order be drawn up.

How Donald Trump’s Impulsive Behavior Sparked An Investigation That Changed The Course Of History

Donald Trump’s

It’s become apparent over the last few years that the ongoing Russian investigation has caused President Trump to have meltdowns.

After Robert Mueller was appointed special counsel by the DOJ on May 18, 2017, Trump entered a state of unrestrained anger rarely seen in the White House before.

What started it all was an impulsive decision on May 9 of that same year; Trump wanted to fire FBI director James Comey for being a “grandstander” and being “out of control” with the Russian investigation.

Bannon warned him that doing this could only make matters worse, but ignoring any opposing advice from his advisors is often how things go in the Oval Office.

Trump then spoke with Donald McGahn, who suggested he consult with Rod Rosenstein about his plans to get rid of Comey.

They thought Rosenstein was sure to be reasonable and steer Trump away from rash decisions.

Although shockingly enough, not only did Rosenstein agree to immediately write up a memo justifying firing Comey – he based it off an incident involving Hillary Clinton’s private email server during the 2016 election.

This prompted Mueller to further investigate if there had been obstruction of justice amongst other things.

The Power Of Tweeting: How Donald Trump Used Twitter As His Megaphone To Win The Election

There’s no doubt that President Trump takes his tweets very seriously.

His social media accounts are, after all, his primary way of communicating with the public and rallying supporters.

He regularly reminds people that it was this direct approach to his base which helped him get elected in the first place.

This was made apparent on June 29th, 2017 when Hope Hicks, one of Trump’s closest aides who had risen from professional model to become his public-relations specialist, felt compelled to speak out againstTrump’s tweet about Mika Brzezinski, who he had accused of coming to a party with a botched face-lift that “was bleeding badly”.

Feminists and female senators were outraged by the comment; something Trump seemed completely unfazed by by insisting “this is who I am” and “this is how I communicate”.

When Twitter increased their character limit from 140 to 280 it prompted a conflict in Trump: On one hand he felt this could help him explain himself better but on the other he thought it meant losing out on being the Ernest Hemingway of 140 characters – though what he failed to realise was that there existed another common thread between successful tweets: they were shocking.

It appears like he has taken this on board as alarming and sometimes inappropriate tweets are still an all too familiar sight.

Donald Trump: A Ruler Without Pity Or Empathy

Despite his best efforts to rein in President Trump’s behavior, Reince Priebus resigned as chief of staff in July 2017.

Priebus had worked to limit the president’s access to cable news before his Sunday night TV binges and had implemented various structures meant to temper Trump’s impulsive style.

But when the vote on repealing Obamacare failed and it became clear that Trump had lied to Priebus over Air Force One, Priebus realized his time was up.

Not long afterward, Steve Bannon also resigned (though Trump liked to say he was fired).

There was no love lost between them as Bannon began giving critical interviews about Trump’s willingness to cooperate with the establishment.

It is thought that Bannon gave a lot of information for Michael Wolff’s book “Fire and Fury,” which caused outrage from President Trump who then said Bannon had “lost his mind.”

Donald Trump’S Tax Reforms: A Look At The Complexities Of Dealing With Taxes In Washington


Gary Cohn was a key figure in helping the Trump administration pass their first significant piece of legislation in 2017 – a tax bill aimed at cutting taxes for middle-income families.

It was also meant to lower the corporate tax rate to 15%, if not 10% from 35%.

However, it became clear that every voter in the Senate had a demand in order for them to agree on the bill and it ended up becoming highly convoluted, with any benefit to the economy questionable at best.

In reality, Cohn helped get a faulty tax plan passed which mainly benefited corporations and the highest earners.

Cohn had had enough when it came to tariffs; he saw how this would hurt businesses, including car manufacturers whom Trump seemed so keen on supporting.

Despite his warnings, Trump ignored his counsel and went ahead with imposing tariffs on imported steel and aluminum.

This marked the end of Gary Cohn’s tenure as he resigned from his position on April 2, 2018 due to Trump’s misguided tariffs.

Wrap Up

The final message from Bob Woodward’s Fear is that the chaos in the Trump White House is largely due to Donald Trump himself.

Despite having a cabinet of advisors, he often ignores their advice if it doesn’t align with his own views.

His rash decisions have led his staff to attempt to prevent disasters by undermining his orders.

Ultimately, this has resulted in a dangerous and chaotic atmosphere within the White House.

Therefore, caution must be taken when dealing with President Trump as his actions could lead to potentially devastating consequences.

Arturo Miller

Hi, I am Arturo Miller, the Chief Editor of this blog. I'm a passionate reader, learner and blogger. Motivated by the desire to help others reach their fullest potential, I draw from my own experiences and insights to curate blogs.

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