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Woodward reveals Donald Trump's boasts about relationships with strongmen

President Donald Trump told Bob Woodward in an interview for the journalist’s new book that he gets along better with strongmen like Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan than leaders of countries that the U.S. gets along with.  

‘I can tell you the relationships I have, the tougher and meaner they are, the better I get along with them,’ Trump is heard telling Woodward in a sound clip that debuted on the ‘Today’ show Monday. ‘The easy ones I don’t like as much or don’t get along with as much.’  

Woodward’s new book ‘Rage,’ which comes out Tuesday, uses the contents from 18 recorded interviews with Trump.   

'Rage' author Bob Woodward released a new interview clip of President Donald Trump Monday morning on the 'Today' show in which the president talks about getting along with strongmen leaders like Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan

‘Rage’ author Bob Woodward released a new interview clip of President Donald Trump Monday morning on the ‘Today’ show in which the president talks about getting along with strongmen leaders like Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan

Woodward released an audio clip where Trump (pictured) says, 'I can tell you the relationships I have, the tougher and meaner they are, the better I get along with them.' The president also says, 'The easy ones I don't like as much or don't get along with as much'

Woodward released an audio clip where Trump (pictured) says, ‘I can tell you the relationships I have, the tougher and meaner they are, the better I get along with them.’ The president also says, ‘The easy ones I don’t like as much or don’t get along with as much’ 

Trump specifically brings up his relationship with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan who 'everyone' describes as a 'horrible guy,' the president tells Woodward. 'For me it works out good,' Trump can be heard saying in the new audio clip

Trump specifically brings up his relationship with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan who ‘everyone’ describes as a ‘horrible guy,’ the president tells Woodward. ‘For me it works out good,’ Trump can be heard saying in the new audio clip 

Trump's (left) relationship with Russian President Vladimir Putin (right) is also scrutinized in the book, with former Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats telling Woodward he was suspicious that Putin 'had something' on Trump, but never found solid evidence

Trump’s (left) relationship with Russian President Vladimir Putin (right) is also scrutinized in the book, with former Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats telling Woodward he was suspicious that Putin ‘had something’ on Trump, but never found solid evidence 

Trump (right) also speaks at length in his book about his relationship with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un (left), with Woodward saying on 'Today' that Trump would often disparage the leadership of South Korea, who's long been an American ally

Trump (right) also speaks at length in his book about his relationship with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un (left), with Woodward saying on ‘Today’ that Trump would often disparage the leadership of South Korea, who’s long been an American ally 

In the clip Woodward shared Monday, Trump specifically brings up Erdoğan as he talks about his relationships with world leaders.   

‘I get along very well with Erdoğan, even though you’re not supposed to, because everyone says, “What a horrible guy.” But, you know, for me it works out good,’ Trump says. 

The president then adds, ‘You’ll explain that to me some day, OK.’ 

‘But maybe it’s not a bad thing,’ Trump says.  

Critics of Trump have long lambasted his affinity for leaders like Erdoğan, Russian President Vladimir Putin and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. Trump has talked up having good relationships with those three, while criticizing NATO members for not paying enough. 

Woodward, who concludes his book by saying that Trump is the ‘wrong man for the job,’ explained to NBC’s Savannah Guthrie on Monday why the president’s comments on world leaders are troubling.    

‘As you know, under the Constitution the president controls foreign relations unilaterally,’ Woodward said.  

‘He decides and has decided, “Oh, I’m going to get along with Putin. I’m getting to get along with the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia, MBS. I’m going to try to get along with Kim Jong Un, the leader of North Korea,”‘ Woodward said. 

On the other hand, Woodward continued, Trump ‘smears South Korea time and time again’ during their conversations. 

‘He is the face of the United States to the world,’ Woodward said. ‘And he has said, and there is it, “Hey, look, I get along with these bad guys, but not the good guys.”‘       

Woodward also reported in his book that former Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats remained suspicious that Putin ‘had something’ on Trump. 

‘Yes. But Dan Coats, who was the number one intelligence officer in the country did not have proof,’ Woodward said Monday to NBC’s Savannah Guthrie’s questioning. ‘They went through all the intelligence. But he, indeed, harbored the suspicion.’  

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