Woodward's book quotes Jared Kushner, the president’s son-in-law and senior adviser, as saying, "The most dangerous people around the president are overconfident idiots.” The book also quotes Kushner as saying that he advised people to think about “Alice in Wonderland” when trying to understand the Trump presidency. The novel is about a girl who falls through a rabbit hole and Kushner, according to Woodward, singled out the Cheshire Cat, whom he said had endurance and persistence, not direction.
Woodward's book also discusses how some top-level administration officials contemplated quitting.
Then-Defense Secretary James Mattis (pictured) went to the Washington National Cathedral to pray about the nation's future under Trump as commander in chief. According to Woodward's book, Mattis once told then-National Intelligence Director Dan Coats, “There may come a time when we have to take collective action” because Trump is “dangerous” and “unfit” to be president.
Woodward says Mattis told Coats, “The president has no moral compass."
Coats, the book says, replied: “True. To him, a lie is not a lie. It’s just what he thinks. He doesn’t know the difference between the truth and a lie.”
Coats is a former senator from Indiana and was recruited into the administration by Vice President Mike Pence, who is also a Hoosier. “How are you stomaching” the Trump presidency, Coats' wife, Marsha, once asked Pence at a White House dinner.
"I think he (Pence) understood. And he just whispered in my ear, ‘Stay the course.’”