Fear - Trump in the White House
Bob Woodward
Contributed by Larisa Brooke
Chapter 22

Bob Woodward bases this chapter around the deep ‘secrets’ maintained by the government. He defines them as matters extremely sensitive, involving sources and methods that only a handful of people know about them, people that include the President as well as key military and intelligence officials (Woodward 155). He claims that one of the secrets he once learned, involved North Korea accelerating both its missile and nuclear weapons programs at an astonishing rate. Within a year, the regime would have a ballistic missile with a nuclear weapon that perhaps could reach the United States mainland (Woodward 155). Woodward says that he tried to confirm the information from top individuals in the intelligence community, but they labeled it as false.

One month later, North Korea successfully tests its first ICBM, a Hwasong14. The missile travels for 930 kilometers, a clear indication that it could reach mainland US. This worries both the intelligence community and top government officials. Many think that the US should work with Russia to deal with the nations that violate the imposed sanctions (Woodward 156). Apart from that, China aided North Korea with the vehicle used to launch the missile and therefore the US needs to discern China’s loyalty. McMaster thinks that they should strike before North Korea strikes or gains an upper hand.

The discussion extends to issues concerning immigration. The concern of Dreamers arises, and Trump thinks after the wall, chain migration may become an issue (Woodward 161). As well as that happening, Bannon and Graham want to replace McConnell as majority leader.


Secrets are vital factors in any government. Ideally, the public will never know the dangers facing the nation, as it may lead to unnecessary tension. Therefore, it is relevant that the government maintains and mitigates deep secrets carefully, depending on the available intelligence. The issue of North Korea and the nuclear weapons was of vital importance and needed an immediate response. It is also noteworthy that the US turned to UN for help with the issue. Apart from that, China aiding in the testing seems like it was an act of retaliation to Trump’s idea of increasing the tariffs on steel.

Immigration is an issue that has haunted America for decades now. The author raises it since it causes an internal friction among members of the White House and those in charge of immigration. Additionally, the dispute involving McConnell has a political basis and it shows that not all members agree even if they belong in the same side of the government.

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