- The Washington Times - Thursday, September 10, 2020

President Trump’s former criminal defense attorney is thanking Bob Woodward for highlighting the fact the president wanted the nation to stay calm as the coronavirus took hold in early 2020.

While the liberal news media and Democrats are castigating Mr. Trump amid the presidential campaign, John Dowd sent Mr. Woodward an email of mocking approval.

“Bob,” Mr. Dowd began, “You did what no other reporter could do. You revealed to our country, our President, under fire, in his own words, facing a deadly historic pandemic of unknown consequences, calmly, to prevent panic, hysteria and further injury to his fellow citizens. This is the stuff of great leadership. You may have gotten him re-elected. You are all the rage now! We are so grateful.”

Mr. Woodward’s new book on Mr. Trump, “Rage,” is due out Sept. 15. In an interview with the author, Mr. Trump said he sought to “play down” the coronavirus to prevent widespread panic.

Mr. Trump’s backers have dug up videos of Democrats, including presidential candidate Joe Biden, sending the exact same message in early 2017, stressing the importance of avoiding panic.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, the White House’s main virus adviser, said on the “Today Show” on Feb. 29 that, “Right now at his moment there is no need to change anything that you’re doing on a day-by-day basis.”

Mr. Woodward’s last book, “Fear,” was an unflattering narration of Mr. Trump’s first years in office. Mr. Dowd was interviewed by Mr. Woodward about the special counsel’s investigation into the president and Russian election interference.

New York publishers have discovered a goldmine inTrump-negative books. A book by the president’s niece was a No. 1 New York Times bestseller.

Out this week are attack books by former FBI agent Peter Strzok, who was fired for dereliction of supervisory responsibilities, and former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen, who is confined to his home while serving a prison sentence for tax fraud.

Out next month is a memoir by Barack Obama’s CIA director, John Brennan, who has accused Mr. Trump of treason.

Besides books, conservative activists say to expect a series of negative Trump news stories, some dubbed “hoaxes,” in coordination with Democratic attacks.

Mr. Trump tweeted Thursday morning, “Fake News is at it again! They will take any statement from me, no matter how proper or well delivered, & systematically, in complete conjunction with all of their allies, dismantle it. With Biden, they only give him softballs, and let him read the answers from a teleprompter!”

• Rowan Scarborough can be reached at rscarborough@washingtontimes.com.

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