Fear - Trump in the White House
Bob Woodward
Contributed by Larisa Brooke
Chapter 13

General Dunford visits Senator Lindsey Graham in his office for a private talk. Graham is a hardworking senator who is concerned about military matters. Dunford is seeking help from the senator since Trump needs a plan for a preemptive military strike on North Korea (Woodward 95). He claims that the intelligence on North Korea is not sufficient for him to create a workable plan. Trump and Graham have a crooked relationship. They had competed in the primaries and at that point, Graham called Trump a ‘jackass’. He had also made a statement against the executive order that result in the infamous ‘Muslim Ban’. (Woodward 95). Nevertheless, he is willing to put the past behind him and meets Trump in the White House for lunch. McMaster and Priebus join them later. They all talk about North Korea, and the possibility that the country has nuclear weapons within their control as well as their capabilities to reach US soil (Woodward 97). Graham gives his views on such an instance and the others seem to agree with him. In addition, Graham touches on the president’s tweeting behaviors. The senator thinks that the president should always tweet whenever it is to his advantage and not disadvantage.

Trump also meets John McCain and his wife Cindy McCain. Despite their differences, Trump and McCain are able to talk freely and apologize to each other. Following Graham’s recommendation, Trump makes Cindy McCain his ambassador for human trafficking. The Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) worries Trump. He believes that it is a bad deal in need of renegotiation, a sentiment he also shares about KORAS, the United States-Korea free trade agreement.


The writer portrays Graham as a man who possesses a diverse knowledge on various issues. He is also an individual committed to the military, and never hesitates to offer his support whenever a military issue arises. He is also a mature person as he is willing to work with Trump despite the differences they have. Asking Trump to meet McCain is an indication that Graham believes in allies more than making enemies. He also seems to understand McCain at a personal level, considering that he considers him a good man. The issue of North Korea keeps on popping up, as it is an imminent threat that everyone is willing and eager to pacify. Trump’s business background is evident as he keeps on questioning most of the deals made with other nations. The president questions the deals involving money and funding from the US, making it clear that he does not aim to use taxpayers’ money on irrelevant deals.

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