Woodward said during his discussions with Trump, Trump consistently emphasized that Biden is impaired and has slowed down. Woodward agreed, in part.
“He has slowed down a little bit. He’s hesitant on some things,” Woodward said. Conversely, “Trump just goes right to the throat.”
When asked about similarities and differences between President Richard Nixon and Trump and the impeachment proceedings earlier in the year, Woodward was unequivocal: “Nixon was a criminal and a proven criminal. No one has pinned a crime on Trump.”
A big difference, Woodward said, was the component of premeditation.
“A crime, as we know, required premeditation almost always. Particularly political crimes, you have to plot. Trump doesn’t plot. He doesn’t premeditate. It’s all the impulse,” he said.
When Robert Mueller began his special investigation, Woodward said he was pretty confident there would be no smoking gun because “Trump doesn’t think or act that way.”
When it comes to how the media investigates and operates during the Trump era, it should strive to rebuild trust among the public and be introspective about its flaws, Woodward said.
He recalled a note the late Washington Post publisher Katharine Graham left him on a yellow legal pad after he and Carl Bernstein were showered with accolades for their Watergate reporting. She told them to “beware the demon pomposity.”