Michael Bender, the Wall Street Journal reporter whose new book comes out today, tells CNN's John Berman that Trump freaked out about the leaked story about him being in the White House bunker -- because it made him look "weak." He wanted the person executed, and no one was sure whether he was serious. Via CNN:
Trump, along with then-first lady Melania Trump and their son, Barron, were all taken to the underground bunker for a period of time during the protests spurred by the police killing of George Floyd as protesters gathered outside the building. Bender writes in the book, titled "Frankly, We Did Win This Election: The Inside Story of How Trump Lost, that Trump, in the days following his time in the bunker, held a tense meeting with top military, law enforcement and West Wing advisers, in which he aired grievances over the leak.
"Trump boiled over about the bunker story as soon as they arrived and shouted at them to smoke out whoever had leaked it. It was the most upset some aides had ever seen the president," Bender writes.
'Whoever did that, they should be charged with treason!' Trump yelled. 'They should be executed!'" the book reads.
Then-White House chief of staff Mark Meadows "repeatedly tried to calm the president as startled aides avoided eye contact," Bender writes, adding that Trump's top aide told his boss: "I'm on it. We're going to find out who did it."
Trump, angry over the leak for days, "repeatedly asked Meadows if he'd found the leaker," with his top aide becoming "obsessed" with finding the source, according to the book, which noted that "those who said they'd heard the president issue that warning had interpreted the outburst as a sign of a president in panic."