Legendary reporter Bob Woodward last week released audio tapes of President Donald Trump discussing the Covid-19 Pandemic in its early stages in this country. The president admitted that the virus was more deadly than the common flu and that he was purposely playing down its severity to the American people.

As I heard this, I kept having one question run through my head: Why in the hell would you as president talk 18 times with the reporter who helped to bring down another corrupt, lying Republican president?

As a brief historical reminder, Woodward in the early 1970s worked with fellow reporter Carl Bernstein at the Washington Post. Their reporting about then President Richard Nixon centered on his corruption, lying and his ties to illegal behavior being done by others on his behalf.

You remember, it was a little thing called Watergate.

The reporting of Woodward and Bernstein was one reason why Nixon’s presidency ended and several co-conspirators went to prison.

Since the 1970s, Woodward has cranked out one great article after another, along with books about other presidents. Diehard people on the right absolutely hate Woodward. They look at him as those on the left look at Sean Hannity.

Again, one has to ask President Trump, why on earth would you talk to Woodward, knowing that what you say will be used against you?

As Fox News commentator Bret Baier observed, “Trump has a unique ability to get beyond these moments.”

I think it goes beyond that. Trump truly believes he’s untouchable. His ego won’t let him believe anything else.

And with his base he’s absolutely correct. There are those who will not leave his side no matter what he says or does. Make fun of a reporter with a disability? No problem. Say a war hero is not a hero because he was captured? No problem. Tell a reporter that you can grab a woman by the, well, you remember? No problem.

In January 2016, just before the Iowa Caucus, Trump famously said, “I could stand in the middle of Fifth Avenue and shoot somebody, and I wouldn’t lose any voters, OK? It’s, like, incredible.”

Anyway, Trump sat down or spoke with Woodward some 18 times from December 2019 to this past July. Woodward was writing a book called “Rage,” about our current president.

Trump in the book is quoted as saying the virus was highly contagious and “deadly stuff.” At the time, he was publicly dismissing it as no worse than the flu. Woodward, who always records his interviews, then released the audio of Trump talking about the virus. The president admitted he believed one thing but told the public another.

This came just after the Atlantic story that quoted four anonymous sources who said Trump offered disparaging and vulgar remarks about military veterans, calling even those who died in war “suckers” and “losers.” Though he denies saying it, many people, including reporters at conservative Fox News, have confirmed the reporting. 

Trump, as he always does, called his buddy Hannity on Fox News for help after America heard what he told Woodward.

Even Hannity asked the president why he spoke with Woodward. Trump, of course, didn’t really answer the question, he just sought to belittle Woodward, who wrote several books on former President George W. Bush.

“On Bush, I guess they did three books. They were all terrible. So, I figured, you know, let’s just give it a little shot. I’ll speak to him. It wasn’t a big deal. I speak to him, and let’s see,” Trump told Hannity. First, I don’t believe for a second that Trump read one word of any of the Bush books.

“I don’t know if the book is good or bad. I have no idea. Probably, almost definitely won’t read it, because I don’t have time to read it,” Trump said of “Rage.”

If you know a reporter does so-called hit jobs on presidents, why do you think he’d be any different with you? Is this a stable genius, the term Trump gave himself? The president later acknowledged that “perhaps” he misled the American public about how deadly Covid-19 was. Covid-19, which has been linked to more than 194,000 deaths in this country.

Perhaps he misled the public? That’s an understatement.