POLITICS

In Trump Era, Pentagon Chief Calls Military Last U.S. Institution Working, Woodward Says

There's "high anxiety" everywhere about a president who has "legitimized hate" in our political culture, the former Watergate reporter argues in a podcast interview.

The chairman of the Pentagon’s Joint Chiefs of Staff, discussing concerns with journalist Bob Woodward about President Donald Trump, complained that the military was the “only institution in America that’s working,” the Washington Post associate editor said in an interview.

Woodward commented on his meeting with Gen. Joseph F. Dunford Jr. during a live videotaping Tuesday for “The Axe Files” political podcast (available on Luminary) with David Axelrod, a former senior adviser to President Barack Obama. (The podcast is now available on Luminary.)

Woodward referred to Dunford’s comments when he was asked in the interview, “What is the temperature in the Pentagon right now?” and “What is the level of comfort with Trump as commander in chief?” Woodward responded: “The temperature everywhere is high anxiety.” (That section of the video begins at 54:22.)

He reminded listeners that presidents can “essentially start wars all on their own,” which is a particular fear when the president is a “walking example of violating norms.”

Woodward, recalling President Richard Nixon’s thoughts on hatred, said the most dangerous aspect of Trump is that he has “legitimized” hate.

“If you look at it, what Trump has done — and you can draw a straight line from Nixon to Trump — Trump has legitimized hate, and he has said it is acceptable in American politics,” said Woodward (beginning at 38:20). The former Watergate reporter accused Trump of outrageous remarks, including encouraging violence, that would be unacceptable “in the extreme” for “your teenage child” to say.

He told Axelrod: Having hate in our political culture as something legitimate should be intolerable in America. And it’s not. It is out there. And I lament as a citizen that it has come to this point.... This is happening before our eyes.”

Check out the entire interview in the video above. 

HuffPost

BEFORE YOU GO

CONVERSATIONS