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

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Chapter 41
Summary

Navarro, Ross, Cohn, and Porter keep on discussing tariffs. They all meet with the President and each pair make their arguments. Trump silences Cohn by calling him a globalist (Woodward 276). This leaves Porter to argue against Navarro and Ross. The President interjects asking what Porter knows about economics given his background as a lawyer. Porter responds saying that he had studied and tutored others in economics while he was at Oxford as a Rhodes Scholar (Woodward 277). This revelation leads to Trump branding Porter a globalist too and the meeting ends without a real resolution.

Things take a bad turn for Porter after two of his ex-wives go public accusing him of domestic abuse. In fact, one releases a picture showing that Porter physically abused her. Due to these allegations, Porter decides to resign saying that it is best for his former spouses, family and close friends, the White House and himself (Woodward 277). Besides that, Navarro and Ross meet with the President and convince him to impose the tariffs before the 301 investigation is complete. They even bring in prominent U.S. steel executives to meet with Trump. Due to this, the President decides to impose a 25% tariff on foreign-made steel and a 10% tariff on aluminum (Woodward 278). After this occurrence, Gary Cohn decides that it is time he resigns. He says that he could have handled losing a fight if they followed the protocol. The President in turn says that it would be a big loss, promising to find a way to bring Cohn back, but Cohn knows better.

Tom Bossert, the President’s adviser for Homeland Security, cyber security and counterterrorism comes to see Trump in the White House. His main issue surrounds the issue of cybersecurity. At first Trump shows no interest in the topic, however once Bossert tells the President that he has a TV interview and needs pointers, Trump seems thrilled and offers his best responses (Woodward 280).

Analysis

Diversity is a good thing for the world. It occurs in different places and in various forms. The White House experiences diversity with much of the staff carrying varied opinions and ideas. The case involving Navarro, Ross, Cohn, and Porter depends on the diversity of opinions and mindsets. Navarro and Ross align themselves on one side since they hold the same opinion on the issue of tariffs, an opinion close to mirroring the President’s. Similarly, Cohn and Porter seem to have identical mindsets. This difference in opinion leads to friction between the two groups, with each trying to push their own agenda whilst discrediting the other. Ross and Navarro’s determination to win enables them to make every possible effort into making the President impose the tariffs.

The author talks about Porter’s past since his ex-wives come forward to accuse him of domestic abuse. This is an indication that the past will always haunt an individual if they do not handle it effectively. Porter’s past literally destroys him considering that he has to resign from the White House despite a possibly bright future. Besides that, Trump is shown to groom Bossert before the interview as an indication of his desire to remain in control. He wants to control the story the way he sees fit to ensure that he portrays himself in the most positive way possible.

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