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Bob Wooward avoids saying whether or not Bill Barr cooperated for Peril

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On The Late Show With Stephen Colbert Tuesday, Colbert was joined by Bob Woodward and Robert Costa, authors of Peril, the explosive new book chronicling the tumultuous final months of the Trump presidency. Colbert pressed the pair about their sources.

“You record the interviews, right?” Colbert asked. “Everything in quotes here, you’ve got dead to rights, right?” “Yes. We don’t disclose who the sources are,” Woodward answered. “We do them on what’s called deep background (Disclosure of information without attribution). We’re gonna use everything that they said.”

Despite Woodward saying they don’t disclose their sources, Colbert kept pushing, showing particular interest in former Attorney General William Barr. According to the book, Barr told Trump in April of 2020 that his reelection was at risk because suburban voters think he’s “a f***ing a**hole.” Barr also reportedly urged Trump not to support a Republican-led Supreme Court case against Obamacare that could have caused millions of Americans to lose their health insurance as the COVID-19 pandemic worsened.

“Barr had to have cooperated with you,” Colbert said, “because at one point it says, ‘…thought Barr.’ How would you know what Barr thought unless Barr told you?” “Well,” Woodward said, “there are many ways. He could have a diary, we could…” “You could be a witch,” Colbert interjected, making Woodward laugh.

Video Transcript

[MUSIC PLAYING]

STEPHEN COLBERT: You record the interviews, right? You've got everything in quotes here. You've got dead to rights, right?

BOB WOODWARD: Yes, we don't disclose who the sources are.

KYLIE MAR: Bob Woodward and Robert Costa, authors of "Peril," the explosive new book about the final months of the Trump presidency, joined "The Late Show with Stephen Colbert" Tuesday, where Colbert pushed them on sourcing. Colbert was particularly curious about former Attorney General William Barr who, according to the book, educated the former president about what suburban voters think of him and urged Trump not to support a GOP-led Supreme Court case against Obamacare.

STEPHEN COLBERT: Barr had to have cooperated with you because at one point the book says, thought Barr. How would you know what Barr thought unless Barr told you?

BOB WOODWARD: Yeah. Well, there are many ways. He could have the diary. We could--

STEPHEN COLBERT: You could be a witch.

BOB WOODWARD: [LAUGHS] [INAUDIBLE] could be a witch.

KYLIE MAR: Despite the deflection, Colbert's mind was made up about Barr. Colbert also wondered about other Trump loyalists like Senator Lindsey Graham-- whose public image could be bolstered by the book.

ROBERT COSTA: We don't discuss sourcing.

STEPHEN COLBERT: You don't discuss sourcing.

BOB WOODWARD: You know that.

STEPHEN COLBERT: OK, it was Barr.

BOB WOODWARD: You know Mrs. Barr?

STEPHEN COLBERT: How many of the people talking to you for this book are trying to rehabilitate their own image by saying, I always thought it was bad, I pushed back?

BOB WOODWARD: Some, yes. No question about that.

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