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Trump lawsuit: Former president sues Bob Woodward over interview recordings for book “Rage”

Axios logo: MainLogo Axios 1/30/2023 Erin Doherty
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Former President Trump on Monday filed a lawsuit against journalist Bob Woodward for $49 million, alleging that recordings of interviews the pair did were released "without President Trump's permission."

The big picture: It's the latest in a number of suits filed by the former president against journalists and other news outlets.

Driving the news: "This case centers on Mr. Woodward’s systematic usurpation, manipulation, and exploitation of audio of President Trump gathered in connection with a series of interviews conducted by Mr. Woodward," the lawsuit says.

  • A representative for Simon & Schuster, which is also named in the suit, did not immediately respond to Axios' request for comment. Paramount Global is also named in the lawsuit.
  • The suit claims that Trump consented to Woodward recording conversations "for the sole purpose of a book," but did not grant permission to use those recordings for an audiobook.

The big picture: Woodward published his book, "Rage," in 2020 and it included a series of reports on Trump, including that the former president purposefully played down the seriousness of the COVID-19 pandemic.

  • The journalist participated in more than a dozen interviews with Trump from 2019 through 2020, per the suit.
  • Woodward released an audiobook of the recorded interviews, called "The Trump Tapes," in Oct. 2022.
  • "Paramount, [Simon & Schuster] and Woodward proceeded with such publication despite knowing that President Trump had consented to being recorded only for the purposes of “the book,”... and never consented to release of any audio recording, inclusive of the Interview Sound Recordings," per the suit.

Go deeper... Bob Woodward's new book details letters between Trump and Kim Jong-un

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