President Donald Trump threw senior White House staff under the bus after they repeatedly failed to inform him that Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative journalist Bob Woodward wanted to interview him for his upcoming book, titled Fear.
The commander-in-chief called the veteran journalist and a transcript of the call was published by The Washington Post on Tuesday.
President Trump spoke of his frustration with not sitting for an interview before the book was published.
"It’s really too bad, because nobody told me about it, and I would’ve loved to have spoken to you," he said. "You know I’m very open to you."
"I think you’ve always been fair," Trump added.
Woodward said he spoke to a half-dozen White House officials, including "Counselor to the President" Kellyanne Conway, who served as Trump's campaign manager in the 2016 presidential race.
The position Conway holds was considered cabinet-level until 1993.
Woodward told Trump that Conway and Principal Deputy Press Secretary Raj Shah were among those he contacted seeking to set up an interview.
"Well, a lot of them are afraid to come and talk, or — you know, they are busy. I’m busy," Trump replied.
At this point in the call, Conway "just walked in" to Trump's office.
"I'm talking to Bob Woodward," Trump told her. "He said he told you about speaking to me. But you never told me. Why didn't you tell me?"
Conway's response was listed as "inaudible" in the transcript.
Later in the call, Trump returned to his theme that his staff are afraid to talk to him.
"If you would’ve called directly — a lot of people are afraid . . . Raj, I hardly have . . . I don’t speak to Raj," Trumps said.
Trump said the lack of an interview would result in "a very inaccurate book" because "accurate is that nobody's ever done a better job than I'm doing as president."