Trump was 'ecstatic' about talking to Bob Woodward -- but changed his mind as book neared publication
Donald Trump Axios Interview (Screen Grab)

President Donald Trump at first was "ecstatic" about speaking with legendary journalist Bob Woodward for his latest book.

The president ultimately spoke 18 times with the reporter who helped break the Watergate scandal, but along the way became convinced Woodward was using him and started raging against him on Twitter as White House aides settled into damage control mode, reported The Daily Beast.

“It’s been known for a while that this was going to be something that … needed some dealing-with,” said one official. “The anticipation was that it would probably be worse than the other [earlier] Woodward book.”

Trump yelped out last month that Woodward's book would be a "FAKE," after sitting for hours of on-the-record-interviews recommended by Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), among others.

“Yeah, the last book Woodward wrote, Trump said he didn’t know that he had wanted to be interviewed,” Graham told The Daily Beast. “So I said, well, the guy is a well-known presidential author, and, you know, you got a chance to tell your side of the story. The president agreed and there you go.”

Trump hoped to set the record straight about the Russia probe, but sources said he started complaining late last month the book would be filled with "fake stories" and that Woodward was a "big phony."

That stood in contrast to his widely mocked interview with Axios reporter Jonathan Swan, which he bragged about even after it raised questions about his cognitive abilities.

“He said it went very well and that Biden could never stand up to that kind of questioning,” said one person familiar with his comments. “He absolutely was not mad about it.”