Over the years, President Donald Trump has publicly critiqued a slew of books about him. Some authors he has criticized, and a few he has praised. Usually, President Trump takes to Twitter to either promote a book written by an ally of his, or to slam a book written by someone he considers an adversary. In September, referencing journalist Bob Woodward’s bestseller, Fear: Trump in the White House, the president proposed via Twitter that politicians should change libel laws.
Conversely, Trump tweeted praise for longtime friend Jeanine Pirro’s book, Liars, Leakers, and Liberals: The Case Against the Anti-Trump Conspiracy, calling the book “fantastic,” and urging his supporters and followers to buy it. While it is safe to assume that Trump’s endorsements are likely to cause a spike in book sales, a new report suggests that the American public should not take the president’s word. According to the New York Times, which interviewed a number of individuals close to the president, Donald Trump is not exactly a voracious reader.
“He doesn’t read at all. I’m not overstating things here. He lacks the patience, curiosity and self-awareness to be a good reader, and that’s why aides and advisers know the best way to communicate complex thoughts to him is with pictures and charts, or simply verbally,” Timothy L. O’Brien, author of TrumpNation: The Art of Being the Donald, explains. Much like O’Brien, Stephen Moore, the author of Trumponomics: Inside the America First Plan to Revive Our Economy, said that the president — although he has praised his books in the past — does not like to read, and prefers images, graphs, and charts.
According to Moore, White House staffers told him that Trump is “aware of some of the charts and things like that in the book,” but not much more than that. The New York Times notes that the president has, in fact, reviewed Moore’s book on Twitter, recommending that his followers and supporters read it. Moore, who is also a CNN analyst, explained that Trump prefers television, and often calls to criticize his TV appearances. The publication notes that President Donald Trump appears to be an exception, given that most of his predecessors were considered avid readers.
But Trump himself has argued in the past that he “loves” to read. As the Washington Post reported, in a 2017 interview, Trump argued that he simply does not have the time for literature.
“I’m looking at a book, I’m reading a book, I’m trying to get started. Every time I do about a half a page, I get a phone call that there’s some emergency, this or that,” he explained.