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Al-Ahed Telegram

Trump Sues Woodward Over the Trump Tapes for $50m

Trump Sues Woodward Over the Trump Tapes for $50m
folder_openUnited States access_timeone month ago
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By Staff, Agencies

Donald Trump has sued Bob Woodward for a fraction less than $50m, claiming he did not agree to the veteran Washington Post reporter publishing tapes of their conversations as an audio book.

Woodward’s publisher, Simon & Schuster, and its parent company, Paramount Global, were also named as defendants.

The Trump Tapes was released in October 2022, under the subtitle Bob Woodward’s Twenty Interviews with President Donald Trump.

Amid generally positive reviews, the Guardian called the audiobook “a passport to the heart of darkness” of Trump’s presidency.

Woodward also wrote three print bestsellers about Trump and his administration: Fear, Rage and Peril – the last cowritten with Robert Costa. The interviews which formed The Trump Tapes were mostly carried out from December 2019 to August 2020, when Woodward was writing Rage.

In the suit filed in the northern district of Florida on Monday, lawyers for Trump said their case “centers on Mr. Woodward’s systematic usurpation, manipulation and exploitation of audio of President Trump”.

They also alleged that one conversation was deceptively edited, citing a comparison with a recording made by Hogan Gidley, a Trump aide, at Mar-a-Lago in Florida on 30 December 2019.

That recording, the suit says, contains an exchange in which Woodward tells Trump: “This again is for the book to come out before the election.”

Rage was published in the US on 15 September 2020, a little less than two months before election day

Trump is seeking just under $50m in damages, a figure his lawyers say they reached by looking at sales of Fear, which “sold more than two million copies, which is the amount of copies that the audiotape can be estimated to sell.

“Based upon the purchase price of the audiotape, $24.99, the damages President Trump has sustained due to the actions of the defendants as set forth herein are estimated to be at least $49,980,000.00, exclusive of punitive damages, attorney’s fees, and costs.”

Trump first complained when the audiobook was released. Appearing on CNN, Woodward was asked about Trump’s claim that he “never got his permission to release these tapes”.

Woodward said: “Well, they were done voluntarily, it was all on the record. I had used some of it before. So he’s president and … so he’s out there. And this is out there to the tenth power.”

Woodward did not immediately comment on Monday. Simon & Schuster and Paramount Global also did not immediately comment.

Trump is beginning to accelerate his campaign for the Republican presidential nomination in 2024, a contest in which he remains the only declared candidate.

He faces legal jeopardy on numerous fronts: over his attempts to overturn the 2020 election, his financial and campaign finance affairs, his retention of classified records and an allegation of rape by the writer E Jean Carroll, which Trump denies.

Trump has often sued media foes, CNN among them. A lawsuit against the New York attorney general was recently thrown out of court.

The section of Trump’s suit against Woodward which alleges deceptive editing, meanwhile, contains an echo of the scandal that made the reporter famous: Watergate, which brought down Richard Nixon in 1974.

In an exchange published in The Trump Tapes, Woodward and Trump discuss Trump’s first impeachment, over his approaches to Ukraine for dirt on political rivals.

Trump says the affair was “peanuts” next to Watergate.

Woodward says: “But as soon as the Watergate burglars were caught, if Richard Nixon had gone on television and said, ‘You know, I’m the man at the top. I’m indirectly responsible for this. I am sorry. I apologize,’ it would have gone away.”

Trump says: “Yeah, Nixon should have done that … But I can’t, I shouldn’t have done that, because I did nothing wrong.”