Tony Blair: Drama surrounding Woodward book, Trump White House a 'global soap opera'

Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair on Wednesday described the latest drama surrounding the Trump White...

Posted: Sep 12, 2018 2:09 PM
Updated: Sep 12, 2018 2:09 PM

Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair on Wednesday described the latest drama surrounding the Trump White House as a "global soap opera" -- one that even people across the world are interested in.

"Well, this is the sort of global soap opera, isn't it?" Blair told CNN when asked why Bob Woodward's bombshell new book, "Fear: Trump in the White House" is selling well in the United Kingdom.

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"I haven't read it myself," Blair told CNN's Alisyn Camerota on "New Day" Wednesday. "I've read about it because you can't really escape it."

The book -- from the same legendary Washington Post journalist who helped break the story of Watergate during the Nixon administration -- offers an unsparing portrait of a dysfunctional White House surrounding President Donald Trump. Woodward's latest book has been met with intense criticism and pushback from Trump himself, as well as other members of his administration.

Blair suggested that politics are in a state of upheaval both in the US and abroad and added that he would like to see closer ties between America and Europe during Trump's tenure.

"Frankly, politics everywhere is in a pretty strange state right now, here and back home and across Europe," Blair said. "It's very important that America and Europe rediscover the importance of the Trans-Atlantic Alliance. It remains the bedrock of our stability, our security, our future prosperity, and in the light of the challenges that are coming down the track at us, that is the single biggest concern I have."

Trump and Russia

The former British Prime Minister weighed in on the US relationship during the Trump administration with Russia, which critics of the White House have argued is too cozy. Blair said that it's normal for world leaders to look for areas of cooperation but stressed that when it comes to Russia, "you've got to call them out" when necessary.

"Russia is an extraordinarily difficult phenomenon to deal with," Blair said. "In certain areas and on certain topics, you have to work with Russia. Practically every American President, every British Prime Minister wants to try to get into the right relationship with Russia of cooperation."

Trump has faced criticism from both Democratic and Republican lawmakers for not going far enough in rebuking Russia for interfering in the 2016 US presidential election, but Blair suggested that Trump's approach to dealing with Russian President Vladimir Putin is comparable to actions by past US presidents.

"It's the same thing that all American presidents that I can remember, President (Barack) Obama wanted to do a 'reset,' President (George W.) Bush thought that he could work with President Putin," he said. Blair added, however, that he prefers to "judge the (Trump) administration on their actions."

"Those actions actually have been pretty strong," Blair said. "America recently has strengthened its forces in Eastern Europe, I welcome that. ... America, in certainly your defense department here, is making a very strong commitment to the defense of Eastern Europe, which is right."

The problem is that Russia continues to overstep, Blair said, citing Russian interference in "democratic processes all over Europe" as one example.

"It's got to be absolutely clear what's acceptable and what isn't," Blair said.

Asked if Trump needs to be warned about the threat posed by Putin, Blair said, "I'm sure he's been told that many times."

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 319948

Reported Deaths: 7371
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto22285267
Hinds20719421
Harrison18431317
Rankin13901282
Jackson13718248
Madison10263224
Lee10059176
Jones8467167
Forrest7832153
Lauderdale7261242
Lowndes6517150
Lamar635188
Lafayette6313121
Washington5425137
Bolivar4841133
Panola4670110
Oktibbeha466198
Pearl River4605147
Marshall4574105
Warren4440121
Pontotoc425873
Monroe4157135
Union415777
Neshoba4063179
Lincoln4008112
Hancock386987
Leflore3515125
Tate342486
Sunflower339491
Pike3371111
Alcorn327272
Scott320374
Yazoo314171
Adams308086
Itawamba305178
Copiah299966
Coahoma298784
Simpson298589
Tippah291968
Prentiss284161
Leake272074
Marion271280
Covington267283
Wayne264642
Grenada264087
George252251
Newton248663
Tishomingo231868
Winston230181
Jasper222148
Attala215073
Chickasaw210559
Holmes190474
Stone188433
Clay187954
Tallahatchie180041
Clarke178980
Calhoun174132
Yalobusha167840
Smith164134
Walthall135347
Greene131834
Lawrence131124
Montgomery128643
Noxubee128034
Perry127238
Amite126242
Carroll122330
Webster115032
Jefferson Davis108234
Tunica108127
Claiborne103130
Benton102325
Humphreys97533
Kemper96629
Franklin85023
Quitman82216
Choctaw79118
Wilkinson69632
Jefferson66228
Sharkey50917
Issaquena1696
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 548657

Reported Deaths: 11306
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson810031566
Mobile42105831
Madison35690525
Tuscaloosa26173458
Shelby25607254
Montgomery25081614
Baldwin21868314
Lee16278176
Calhoun14719327
Morgan14629285
Etowah14175364
Marshall12453230
Houston10781287
Elmore10293214
Limestone10179157
St. Clair10162251
Cullman9952201
Lauderdale9603250
DeKalb8972190
Talladega8460184
Walker7338280
Autauga7241113
Blount6945139
Jackson6932113
Colbert6413140
Coffee5635127
Dale4928116
Russell454841
Chilton4476116
Franklin431382
Covington4275122
Tallapoosa4138155
Escambia401680
Chambers3728124
Dallas3607158
Clarke353061
Marion3240107
Pike314378
Lawrence3133100
Winston283472
Bibb268564
Geneva257981
Marengo250565
Pickens236962
Barbour234559
Hale227278
Butler224271
Fayette218862
Henry194543
Randolph187544
Cherokee187345
Monroe180041
Washington170539
Macon163051
Clay160059
Crenshaw155957
Cleburne153444
Lamar146837
Lowndes142254
Wilcox126930
Bullock124342
Conecuh113630
Coosa111729
Perry108626
Sumter105732
Greene93634
Choctaw62125
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