Amid Impeachment, Meyers Hypes 'Harrowing' Anti-Trump Book

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The publication of a vitriolic book against President Trump has become a rite of passage for a card-holding member of the leftist media elite. Washington Post reporters’ Carol Leonnig and Phillip Rucker are the latest to join in the not-so-exclusive club of anti-Trump, press credentialed authors. The two appeared on Wednesday’s Late Night with Seth Meyers, aired early Thursday morning, to discuss their newest book, Very Stable Genius, in the midst of the Impeachment trial.

Meyers hit the ground running by depicting the flagrant biography as “harrowing” and probing for the impetus behind the book:

 

 

This is a book that basically documents the last three years of the presidency. It's sort of harrowing to read through it -- we were talking backstage -- like how quickly you forget these things….What was the catalyst of that for you?

As is the case with most members of the liberal press, Leonnig lamented the unconventional nature of the Trump Presidency and the supposed danger it presents to the country:

Phil and I have been covering this Presidency for three years. We've never seen anything like it. Every day it was like bullets and shrapnel going by you, the chyrons, the news crises, the scandals, every hour, every week. We just wanted to hit the pause button and look back at this, make sense of it for ourselves and for our readers at the Washington Post

Meyers dug deep into the book’s most egregious claims: “What are some of the most alarming stories you've heard over the course of those 200 interviews?”

Demeaning President Trump’s intelligence has been a go-to in the leftist media grab bag of insults for the past several years. Leonnig continued the trend: “I mean, there were so many things the President didn't know about America…”

When Meyers brought up the role played by Republican sources in the book, Rucker went on a tangent about the air of mistrust that engulfs the President’s team:

You know Seth, we knew that there were still people who worked in the Administration who were alarmed and concerned with how Trump conducted himself in office. But we were surprised by the degree to which people were so alarmed and by how many of them there were. Members of his cabinet, members of his senior staff, even members of his close inner circle told us that this is a real concern that he acts in a very alarming way and acts on the gut and impulse, shuns information and it's a concern for the country and they are afraid to say so publicly but they were willing to talk to us for the benefit of history. And that's what we consider this book, it's really a history book of these last three years.

Meyers then essentially infantilized the President and the members of his current administration by stating “the adults have left the room”:

There's long been this idea that there were people, and you even lay it out in the beginning of this book, that there were two people who would work for Trump right off the beginning. People who wanted to help him basically discard the way we've done things, and do this, take this new path and people who were trying to protect the government from Donald Trump. Sort of the idea that there are adults in the room. And yet, a lot of these adults have left the room and they still haven't sort of spoken out against him. You know, we have a lot of reporting, you have a lot of reporting in this book, about people, you know, John Kelly, who sort of still haven't come out and said, people like General Mattis who were very critical in the book and not-are you surprised by that?

Leonnig proceeded to paint her sources as victims of the President:

We can tell you about some of our sources, who we're not going to name, basically, some of them were afraid of Donald Trump, that's why they didn't move from anonymous to on the record and some of them honestly don't feel that it's appropriate to criticize a sitting Commander in Chief…

To close out the interview, Meyers reiterated his prior analysis of the book and used a sort of scare tactic to convince viewers to pick up a copy:

It is fascinating, it's incredibly well written, it's so readable and even though it's something we live through, it is very harrowing to go through it all again and realize that we're still living in this moment.

One could safely assume the book’s release date coinciding with the Impeachment fiasco is no accident.

Transcript below: 

Late Night With Seth Meyers

1/22/20

1:26:21 AM

SETH MEYERS: This is a book that basically documents the last three years of the presidency. It's sort of harrowing to read through it-we were talking backstage- like how quickly you forget these things. Things that we have talked about here on this show, you would think based on that you'd remember them. You had to make the decision to step away from day to day reporting to write this book. What was the catalyst of that for you?

CAROL LEONNIG: Phil and I have been covering this Presidency for three years. We've never seen anything like it. Every day it was like bullets and shrapnel going by you, the chyrons, the news crises, the scandals, every hour, every week. We just wanted to hit the pause button and look back at this, make sense of it for ourselves and for our readers at the Washington Post.

MEYERS: What are some of the most alarming stories you've heard over the course of those 200 interviews?

LEONNIG: So many.

MEYERS: Yeah

PHILLIP RUCKER: How long do we have?

LEONNIG: I mean, there were so many things the President didn't know about America.

MEYERS: Yep.

LEONNIG: About the globe. And I'm not making fun of him. Phil and I have no desire to mock the President. We wanted to talk to people who work by his shoulder and they were, you know, their jaws were on the ground all the time because they are hearing him say he doesn't know what Pearl Harbor really is, everything that happened.

(...)

MEYERS: I know you can't reveal a lot of information about anonymous sources, but certainly safe to assume that a lot of the people you talked to were Republicans.

RUCKER; Almost all of them.

MEYERS: Based on the rooms they were in and what they were privy to. Were you surprised by the fact that there were so many that wanted to speak against a President that publicly they are sort of still in lockstep as far as supporting?

RUCKER: You know Seth, we knew that there were still people who worked in the Administration who were alarmed and concerned with how Trump conducted himself in office. But we were surprised by the degree to which people were so alarmed and by how many of them there were. Members of his cabinet, members of his senior staff, even members of his close inner circle told us that this is a real concern that he acts in a very alarming way and acts on the gut and impulse, shuns information and it's a concern for the country and they are afraid to say so publicly but they were willing to talk to us for the benefit of history. And that's what we consider this book, it's really a history book of these last three years.

MEYERS: There's long been this idea that there were people, and you even lay it out in the beginning of this book, that there were two people who would work for Trump right off the beginning. People who wanted to help him basically discard the way we've done things, and do this, take this new path and people who were trying to protect the government from Donald Trump. Sort of the idea that there are adults in the room. And yet, a lot of these adults have left the room and they still haven't sort of spoken out against him. You know, we have a lot of reporting, you have a lot of reporting in this book, about people, you know, John Kelly, who sort of still haven't come out and said, people like General Mattis who were very critical in the book and not-are you surprised by that?

LEONNIG: We can tell you about some of our sources, who we're not going to name, basically, some of them were afraid of Donald Trump, that's why they didn't move from anonymous to on the record and some of them honestly don't feel that it's appropriate to criticize a sitting Commander in Chief. That's their DNA and because we checked with so many people and their stories were consistent across the board, we trusted them with this information.

(...)

MEYERS: One last thing I'll say, you know, very stable genius, I had remembered that he's said that about himself. I think it's very important to note this is not you guys taking a shot across the bow, this is a thing he- and I thought it was one time, and you point out in the book that he has said it four different times.

RUCKER: Five.

MEYERS: Five times.

RUCKER: In all seriousness Seth, people might think that's a snarky title, but it is a deadly serious book, and you get that from page one. This is a serious look at the history of the Presidency and we used his own words there because we wanted to sort of hold up the mirror to the President. And stress test whether that view of himself matches the experiences of all the people who have been working with him.

MEYERS: It is fascinating, it's incredibly well written, it's so readable and even though it's something we live through, it is very harrowing to go through it all again and realize that we're still living in this moment.

Trump Impeachment Late Night Seth Myers Carol Leonnig Phillip Rucker
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