- The Washington Times - Thursday, September 10, 2020

Sen. John Kennedy on Thursday said there are plenty of people he would talk to for nine hours over Bob Woodward, implying that it might not have been wise for President Trump to offer up such extensive access to the veteran journalist for a damaging new book.

“If I were president of the United States and I could talk to anybody I wanted to for nine hours — no offense to Mr. Woodward, but he wouldn’t make the top 10 list,” the Louisiana Republican said on “Fox & Friends.”

“I’d pick the Dalai Lama or Meat Loaf or Quentin Tarantino or somebody cool — not that he’s uncool, but you get my point,” he said.

Excerpts of Mr. Woodward’s forthcoming book, “Rage,” were released on Wednesday, as were some of the author’s taped conversations with the president.

Mr. Trump told Mr. Woodward in one March conversation that he wanted to play the coronavirus threat down because he didn’t want to create a panic.

The president defended his statements on Wednesday, saying that as a cheerleader for the country he didn’t want to create a panic over the deadly virus.

“We know the president pretty well by now,” Mr. Kennedy said. “It’s clear to me at least he grows anxious when he has an unexpressed thought. Now, that may be an endearing quality for a human being, but it’s very dangerous when you’re a politician talking to a reporter.”

In a phone interview with Fox News’ Sean Hannity, Mr. Trump said on Wednesday that he probably wouldn’t read the book because he’s too busy.

“But I thought I’d give Bob Woodward some time. I gave him some time,” Mr. Trump said. “But, as usual, with the books he writes, that didn’t work out too well, perhaps. I don’t know … maybe it’s good. Who knows?”

• David Sherfinski can be reached at dsherfinski@washingtontimes.com.

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