Woodward Defends Holding Scoops for Book

By: E&P Staff

Interviewed by Matt Lauer on the Today show today, Bob Woodward revealed that he had deliberately timed his new book, “State of Denial,” to come out before the November elections.

Lauer had challenged Woodward on the timing, since the charges in the book about the administration allegedly misleading the public on progress in the Iraq war are so significant. How could he hold that for a book? Why didn’t he get them published in his newspaper, The Washington Post, or shout them from a “mountaintop” instead of waiting to “make a splash” with them in a book?

Woodward replied that he had not waited “to make a splash, but to assemble the whole story,” and then go to the White House and Pentagon and CIA and ask, “What did you do?” He added: “Simon & Schuster and my bosses at the Washington Post said the only real obligation here is to tell it before the election.

“That’s what we’re doing. People can judge for themselves.”

Asked by Lauer if he is saying in the book that Bush “lied,” Woodward said he wouldn’t use that language. He did deny claims from the White House that he came in with pre-meditated idea and manufactured conclusions to fit.

He also stuck by his guns on another key scoop in the book — in which he reveals that CIA Director George Tenet and his top intelligence man met with Condoleezza Rice, then national security chief, two months before 9/11, to deliver a very strong warning about a coming terrorist attack on the U.S.

They claimed she brushed them off. Rice today denied that the meeting took place — or if it did, she did not receive any strong warning about such an attack.

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