'What won’t I like, Bob?': Trump didn’t understand why Woodward’s book was going to be bad for him
Bob Woodward and Donald Trump (Photos via screen capture and AFP)

CNN has new tapes from Bob Woodward from his interviews with President Donald Trump, which show a leader desperate for approval.


Woodward had already sent his book to the publishers when he had his 19th interview with the president, this one about what the book was about and how it would help him convey the truth about the six months at the start of the coronavirus pandemic.

"It's a tough book," Woodward told Trump, noting that it'll be "close to the bone.

"You know the market's coming back very strong, you do know that," Trump said in response.

"Yes, of course," Woodward said.

"Did you cover that in the book?" Trump asked.

"Throughout their 18 interviews for the book, Trump sought Woodward's approval, repeatedly asking Woodward whether he was going to write a 'good book,'" CNN reported Monday. "The lobbying continued in their final conversation when Woodward noted that one of Trump's accomplishments after the book had gone to press -- the agreement to normalize relations between Israel and the United Arab Emirates -- had earned Trump rare praise from New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman, who has been repeatedly critical of Trump."

"Tom Friedman? That's nice," Trump said, according to the tapes.

"Isn't that something?" Woodward replied.

"He's come a long way. The next one I need is you," Trump claimed. "But it looks like I don't have it on this book, but we'll get you sometime later, I guess."

It has become part of a pattern with Trump. Former White House senior adviser Dan Pfeiffer once addressed Trump's desperation to be named as TIME's Man of the Year, saying it was "sad" that Trump is "so needy for approval."

Hear the full audio at CNN.com.