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Trump Sues Bob Woodward for $50 Million

Trump, El American

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Donald Trump and his lawyers pointed the cannons directly against journalist Bob Woodward. The former president is claiming $50 million for the publication of an audiobook of interviews he recorded for the book Rage, but apparently did not authorize for The Trump Tapes.

The story began in 2018, when Trump insisted on giving the journalist almost complete access to himself and other officials such as Jared Kushner, Kayleigh McEnany and Mick Mulvaney, among others. The former president himself received Woodward in the Oval Room on repeated occasions and devoted hours of phone conversations to him.

In all, the legendary journalist who wrote All the President’s Men kept about nine hours of footage with Trump, which would go into writing Rage, released in September 2020. So far, there was no problem between the two.

The tensions came with the release of The Trump Tapes, an audiobook using the aforementioned recordings, namely Trump’s own voice. “I’m doing something here that I’ve never done before, presenting the lengthy, raw interviews of my work. In the fall of 2019 through August 2020, I interviewed President Trump 19 times for my second book on his presidency, Rage,” the journalist expressed about his not-so-new creation.

“I had also interviewed him in 2016 when he was a presidential candidate. I decided to take this unusual step of releasing these recordings after relistening in full to all 20 interviews,” the journalist explained. “As I listened to them again I was stunned by their relevance to understanding Trump. Hearing Trump speak is a completely different experience to reading the transcripts or listening to snatches of interviews on television or the internet,” Woodward added.

The complete material was published in October 2022 and, evidently, was not to the former president’s liking, since he decided to take legal action against the journalist.

Trump Suit: “Usurpation, manipulation and exploitation”

The lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court in Pensacola, Florida, alleges damages, along with a statement of his copyright interests. The 31-page text is based on the premise that the former president never authorized the tapes of his interviews with Woodward to be used for an audiobook.

Bob Woodward

“President Trump told Woodward numerous times that the Interviews were to be used by Woodward – and Woodward only – for the sole purpose of accurately quoting President Trump for the ‘written word,’ i.e., ‘Rage,’ and not for any other purpose, including providing, marketing, or selling the Interviews to the public, press, or the media, in any way, shape, or form,” the former president’s lawyers stated.

It also denies that Woodward had full authorization to dispose of the material to make or break. Instead, they asserted that it was “protected material, subject to various limitations on use and distribution.”

With this foundation, Trump’s lawyers built a claim of just under $50 million. Where does this figure come from? They calculated it based on sales of Rage, which sold more than two million copies, the number of copies the audiotape is estimated to sell.

“Based upon the purchase price of the audiotape, $24.99, the damages President Trump has sustained due to the actions of the defendants as set forth herein are estimated to be at least $49,980,000.00, exclusive of punitive damages, attorney’s fees, and costs,” the lawsuit stated.

Joaquín Núñez es hincha de Racing Club de Avellaneda y licenciado en comunicación periodística por la Universidad Católica Argentina. Se especializa en el escenario internacional y en la política norteamericana // Joaquín Núñez is a fan of Avellaneda's Racing Club and has a degree in journalistic communication from the Universidad Católica Argentina. He specializes in the international scene and American politics.