TRANSCRIPT: Bob Woodward Talks to ABC's Diane Sawyer About 'Obama's Wars'


SAWYER: It was interesting that Chelsea, her daughter Chelsea, wanted her to take this job; her husband was less certain, and she worried aloud about him.

WOODWARD: Sure. And she -- you know, tough decision, but for her own purposes and for the purposes of the Obama administration, it made sense. It's pointed out in a very interesting way that this rounds out her resume to run for president someday and if she ran in 2016, she'd be younger than Ronald Reagan when he was elected.

So, you know, women live longer, avoid health problems more than men, don't rule her out. And you look at this and look at her travels around the world, the world leaders, the public in all of these countries, they look at her as a possible future president.

SAWYER: You think she'll do what you got-- ?

WOODWARD: She says no, but come on, who -- you know, the list would run longer than our arms of people who said no and then did.

SAWYER: General Jones, National Security Adviser General Jones, he is there in the White House to be the president's first call on national security issues. It's a stunning story you tell of the way he feels about the political team -- Rahm Emanuel, David Axelrod and also some of the members of his own staff -- that they are water bugs cutting off his access. He treats them -- he feels they're a kind of a mafia ganging up against him.

WOODWARD: I'm not -- excluding him. And what -- what happens is, Rahm Emanuel, the chief of staff, will come down to the suite, the national security adviser and deputy, and go see the deputy, Tom Donilon. And finally, at one point, General Jones said to Rahm, I'm the national security adviser, come see me, not Donilon.

And it got better for awhile, but it's back to -- Donilon is the workhorse. He is the person who spends day and night, immerses himself in the detail to the point that the president himself turns to Donilon on many of these things.

SAWYER: But "water bugs"? "Water bugs"?

WOODWARD: Water bugs flitting around. General Jones is the odd man out in this West Wing. He's not part of the campaign --

SAWYER: Leaving soon?


SAWYER: Were you shocked he said these things to you?

WOODWARD: You know, I don't say where I get information and I authoritatively say that he has told people. And he felt isolated and if you look at this, I'm not sure it puts anyone in a good light the way they treated him, excluding him, how he defined his job in a different way, but it's -- it's not one of those things where it comes together for instance.

On the troop level recommendation for the Afghan strategy review, General Jones thought 20,000 should be it. He typed out an memo, put it in his computer, it never got -- he never gave it or showed it to the president. Here's the national security -- can you imagine Henry Kissinger holding back his opinion?

SAWYER: Not marching right into the office.

Former Secretary of State General Colin Powell came in as an unofficial -- what? -- wise man? What did he say about all this?

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