It took them YEARS to crack Watergate; there's more incriminating material against Trump now then there was against Nixon this early on in his presidency.
We've hereto-now had former Trump staff and associates (Steve Bannon, Omorosa, etc...) reporting on the chaos and dysfunction in the Trump White House, with all the credibility problems that being a former Trump associate carries.
This is the first piece we've gotten from a revered and credible journalist with access to the White House--one who broke the biggest political story of the last century no less--and hes reporting:
1) That General Kelly regards Trump as an "unhinged idiot" who is pointless to talk to or advise, because he doesn't actually listen to anyone
2) That Defense Secretary Mattis regards Trump as having the discipline, temperament, and critical thinking skills of a "5th or 6th grader"
3) That lower level administration personnel routinely remove papers from the president's desk, present him with distractions, circumvent his authority, and refuse to follow his direct orders. To prevent Trump from making what everyone except Trump himself recognizes would be "disastrous" decisions on trade and foreign policy.
4) In one instance, Trump's Chief Economic Advisor removed an Order from Trump's desk that Trump had planned on signing and executing later that day. If signed and executed, the Order would have had the United States withdraw from its trade agreement with South Korea. Trump never realized the Order was missing and forgot about it.
5) In another instance, Trump ordered Mattis to have the United States military invade Syria, assassinate Bashar al-Assad, and "Fucking kill him. Kill the fucking lot of them." Mattis told Trump "I'll get right on that," then went back to the Pentagon and told his staff "we're not going to do any of that" + directed them not to follow the president's plan.
6) Trump called Attorney General Jeff Sessions "mentally retarded' and a "dumb southerner," and made fun of his southern accent.
7) Trump ordered his generals to draft plans for a unilateral, preemptive attack on North Korea ahead of his meeting with Kim-Jung Un. Mattis had to explain to him that the reason they weren't doing this was because they were trying not to start World War 3.
8) On or around January 27, 2018, Trump's aides tried to prep him for a sit-down interview with Mueller. Trump was unable to get through the first 30 minutes of the practice interview without melting down, lying, and cursing out the aides telling him that if this were a real interview he would have just perjured himself + calling the whole thing a "god-damn hoax."
9) Trump's personal attorney described Trump's behavior during the practice interview as that of an "aggrieved Shakespearean King" and the prospect of Trump actually testifying under oath in the Mueller investigation for real as a "nightmare."
10) Trump, however, seemed completely unaware that he had failed the practice interview. He expressed disbelief that his attorneys thought he had "struggled" with the questioning. And insisted that he was fully prepared to testify under oath + clear his name.
11) Attorney John Dowd called Trump a "fucking liar," and told him that if he went before Mueller and testified under oath he would wind up wearing "an orange jumpsuit."
12) Dowd conveyed what transpired during the mock interview to Mueller, and told Mueller he would not allow Trump to do a sit-down interview under oath because he did not believe Trump was capable of getting through the interview without perjuring himself.
13) In a strategy meeting on Afghanistan, Trump told his generals: "You should be killing guys. You don't need a strategy to be killing people."
14) There was another strategy meeting on Korea where his advisors asked him what assets he would need in the region to rest easy, knowing that the US was going into talks with Kim-Jung Un from a position of strength. Trump said: "I wouldn't need a fucking thing, and I'd sleep like a baby" then left the meeting. (this was reportedly back when Rex Tillerson was in the cabinet and present during strategy meetings, and it was reportedly after this meeting that Tillerson called Trump a "fucking moron." That was the contact for the remark that got Tilleson fired from his Cabinet post)
15) Gary Cohn--one of Trump's Jewish advisors--attempted to resign after Trump's handling of the Nazi march on Charlottseville. Trump refused to accept the resignation and accused Cohn of committing "treason." General Kelly then told Cohn that he should have taken his letter of resignation and "shoved it up his ass six different times."
16) Trump himself told Woodward that he believed he was the greatest president of all time, and that writing anything less of time in office would be "inaccurate." "Accurate is that nobody's ever done a better job than I'm doing as president," Trump told the veteran journalist on-the-record.
17) When Trump was caught on the now infamous "Grab em by the Pussy!" tape and absolutely no one would appear on TV to defend his boasts of getting away with sexual assault, except Rudy Giuliani, Trump called Giuliani after Giuliani's televised defense of "Grab em by the Pussy!" and told Giuliani: "Rudy. You're a baby. I've never seen a worse defense of me in my life. They took your diaper off right there. You're like a little baby that needed to be changed. When are you going to be a man?" _____
The picture that emerges is one of a staff in perpetual damage-control, with zero respect for their boss or confidence in his competence and decision-making.
And a boundless narcissist at the center of it all who can't see it--he really believes his own hype that he's the smartest man in the room and nobody knows more than him or can do a better job than him, and anytime someone tells him that hes struggling or making mistakes they're "stupid." They would see how great he is if they weren't "stupid."
Which we kinda already knew--Trump is a malignant narcissist with the emotional intelligence of a child and his staff is running an adult daycare center. Old news.
But to see it all documented by a journalist as accomplished and respected as Bob Woodward, with the clout his name carries and his storied career and the throwbacks to the reporting that became the definitive historical account of the End of Nixon...
...That's not some reality TV star or Breitbart columnist throwing shade...
That's one for the history books.
A free press that reports with credibility and high professional standards on misconduct in government is as much a check against abuse as any Judge or Court. And long after Trump is out of office the country will still have to reckon with the damage hes done to journalism as an institution, and the watchdog role of the free press.
...if the last time Woodward published a book on All the Presidents Men against the backdrop of a White House in full cover-up mode + attempting to discredit the free press for reporting on its lies and scandals is any indication, his work is going to become a substantial piece of the historical record from this time period.
And something that journalists are going to study for years to come on how to do the legitimate work of journalists + maintain high credibility and professional standards, in an era where the profession is under siege and the highest actors in government are trying to rip that credibility away.