Fear - Trump in the White House
Bob Woodward
Contributed by Larisa Brooke
Chapter 26

McMaster voices his concern about Mattis and Tillerson to Porter. He claims that the two fail to include him in various crucial things that involve the security of the nation. He cites Tillerson’s trip to Qatar and the agreement with Qatari Foreign Minister on counterterrorism (Woodward 181). Following these issues, Priebus arranges for key cabinet members to check in regularly. Tillerson comes to see Priebus, and they are joined by McMaster. There, they all voice their concerns and Tillerson affirms that he does not have assistant secretaries (Woodward 182). Tillerson then goes to Porter’s office and tells him some of his issues. Considering the breakdown between McMaster and Tillerson, Porter sees it as proof of a general dysfunction.

Trump regrets appointing Jeff Sessions. He believes that Sessions should have never recused himself from overseeing the Russia investigation (Woodward 183). In fact, Trump confesses that he admired Obama’s attorney general, Eric Holder for his loyalty. Therefore, the President wants Sessions to resign. Sessions rebuts Trump, claiming that he will never resign, even after Bannon warns him about Kushner’s possible testimony (Woodward 185). Some Republicans seem to support Trump’s attack on Sessions while others stand with their former colleague. Despite that, Trump continues to attack Sessions and even calls him names such as an ‘idiot’ and ‘dumb Southerner’. Trump considers Session’s actions as ultimate act of betrayal. However, Porter says that Sessions met the established rules and guidelines to recuse himself.


Teamwork is a very effective method of achieving success. When people work together, they end up making effective and sound decisions that lead to tangible accomplishments. Apart from that, the working process of the government depends on certain established processes that people have to follow to ensure that harmony prevails. This is the precise reason for McMaster’s continued worries and disappointments. Tillerson and Mattis act without involving McMaster despite the legal position he holds. Therefore, McMaster feels like the pair is failing to uphold the importance of teamwork, and he needs them to get back on the right track by making proper consultations and following the correct channels while making decisions. The behavior portrayed by McMaster indicates his military background and his strictness in adhering to rules and guidelines. On the other hand, Tillerson seems like a freelancer who believes in making his own decisions without depending on others.

Trumps continued attacks on Jeff Sessions indicate his profound disappointment in the Attorney General. Trump always believes in fairness, considering that he keeps on saying that Sessions should have informed before accepting the job. This is a clear indication that Trump always wants to stay in control, and he gets angry quickly whenever someone humiliates him.

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