Trump is 'assassinating the presidency' -- and it may be too late to save it: Bob Woodward
Bob Woodward (MSNBC)

Veteran journalist Bob Woodward lamented that President Donald Trump was destroying the office he holds.

The famed Washington Post reporter, who spent hours speaking to the president for his recent book, "Rage," was disturbed by Trump's unhinged behavior during the first debate with Joe Biden.

"I don't want to overstate this, but he is assassinating the presidency," Woodward said. "The job of a president is protect the people, tell the truth, provide some sort of moral compass -- hey, this is why we're doing it, this is where we're going."

Woodward said he never gained a sense that Trump appreciates the seriousness of his role, and he said that came across as he repeatedly interrupted and insulted Biden.

"I spent a lot of time talking to him over the year this year about that, and he will give out words words, but there's nothing behind it, and that was revealed last night," Woodward said. "So embarrassment, sadness, and people are going to have to unwind some of this and make sense of our democracy in the coming four months before the next president takes office, and it might be Trump, certainly, it might be Trump."

"[We've got a] big mess on our hands," he added. "Always, the question is, are the institutions up to it, and I have to vote doubt on that. I don't know whether we have a process or leadership out there that can gather the remnants that are on the floor that Trump has shredded, just absolutely shredded and ignored and put it back together. Sorry to be a pessimist."