President Donald Trump’s chief of staff John Kelly should resign and testify before Congress about his time in the White House, legendary investigative journalist Carl Bernstein said.
Bernstein, now a CNN political analyst, defended his former colleague Bob Woodward’s explosive new book “Fear: Trump in the White House” on CNN’s “New Day” Wednesday morning, which includes reporting that Kelly called Trump an “idiot” and “unhinged.”
“(The book) is a reconstruction of meeting after meeting after meeting in which you begin to wonder why doesn’t John Kelly, the chief of staff, go to the Congress of the United States in executive session, resign for the good of the country, go to the Congress and say ‘I want to answer all of your questions about this president in full about what the context is, about what’s in this book, et cetera, et cetera,’ and then let’s see how it holds up,” Bernstein said.
Having read the book, Bernstein said it includes scenes “described in great detail” that show how “principals, not disgruntled former employees” view their job in the White House as “protecting the country from the President of the United States.”
According to Woodward’s reporting, Kelly is quoted in the book as saying of Trump at a staff meeting in his office: “He’s an idiot. It’s pointless to try to convince him of anything. He’s gone off the rails. We’re in crazytown. I don’t even know why any of us are here. This is the worst job I’ve ever had.”
In a statement Tuesday, Kelly denied that he referred to Trump as an “idiot.”
“He always knows where I stand, and he and I both know this story is total BS,” Kelly said.
Bernstein and Woodward were both Washington Post reporters who helped uncover the 1970s Watergate scandal that brought down President Richard Nixon. Bernstein vouched for his former colleague’s methodology of reporting of drawing from hundreds of hours of interviews with first-hand sources and documents to back up quotes, saying it was the same method the pair used while reporting on the Nixon administration.
“This doesn’t come from one source,” he added.
Trump and the White House have pushed back on the allegations in Woodward’s book, but Woodward stands by his reporting.