On The Late Show Monday, Bob Woodward shared a previously unreleased audio excerpt from a conversation with President Donald Trump where the president once again revealed he understood how serious Covid-19 was in private while downplaying it public.
The tape, Woodward told Stephen Colbert, came from an interview with Trump recorded in mid-April, as the pandemic first peaked in parts of the country. At the start of the tape, Trump tells Woodward that the coronavirus is “so easily transmissible, you wouldn’t even believe it,” then adds that during a recent Oval Office meeting, someone sneezed and “the entire room bailed out, OK? Including me, by the way.”
After the clip played, Woodward mentioned Trump’s indoor rally in Nevada Sunday, saying, “I mean there’s God knows how many people there, all packed together. I wonder if someone sneezed in the front row, that Trump would bail out again and get out of the way?”
Elsewhere in the interview, Woodward discussed why he thinks Trump was so willing to speak with him for his book, Rage, and how with Trump, his tone can frequently be more revealing than the actual words he’s using. Woodward says he asked Trump about the Black Lives Matter movement and “whether he understood, as a privileged white person like myself, if he comprehended the anger and pain that black people feel. And he just said, ‘Oh, wow, you should hear yourself, you drank the Kool-Aid.’ He scorned me, ridiculed me — on paper that’s one thing, when you hear the voice, it’s much larger than the words on the page.”