Trump Unleashes New Attack on Book Critical of His Presidency

Misty Newman
September 6, 2018

Of course, Kelly and Mattis and other staffers now deny uttering any derogatory opinions of their boss, but we need to stack that up against Woodward's stellar journalistic reputation.

President Donald Trump has gone into high gear over a book penned by Washington insider Bob Woodward, taking to Twitter to point out the many members of his administration who've slammed the work as a nothingburger filled with fabricated quotes.

Trump has hit back in a series of tweets claiming that Woodward was working for the Democratic party and that publication of the book was timed to damage the Republicans in the midterm elections in November. "This is another pathetic attempt to smear people close to President Trump and distract from the administration's many successes".

"Secretaries of defense don't always get to choose the president they work for", it adds. While that may seem odd to partisans, policy wonks and capital-based journalists, it is easily apparent and understandable when one speaks to people outside the political and media realm.

The book quotes Kelly as having doubts about Trump's mental faculties, declaring during one meeting, "We're in Crazytown".

Trump accused Woodward of making up quotations attributed to Kelly and the U.S. defence chief, James Mattis.

Trump followed that with repeat tweets of statements the White House collected Tuesday from his Chief of Staff John Kelly and his Secretary of Defense James Mattis; both men insisted they had not made remarks attributed to them in Woodward's book.

Within hours of the first reports about the book, the USA leader started attacking it, asserting that quotes and stories in the book "were made up frauds, a con on the public".

White House aides on Tuesday coordinated with other officials quoted in the book to dispute troublesome passages.

Woodward on Trump: Explosive claims in the latest White House tell-all
President Donald Trump on Thursday once again ripped into Attorney General Jeff Sessions during an interview with Fox News. Kelly repeated a statement he made in May, saying that he and Trump "have an incredibly candid and strong relationship".

What did Defense Secretary Mattis say?

The White House also released a statement attributed to Kelly in which he renewed his denial of ever calling Trump an "idiot".

"Let's f-ing kill him!"

The book claims that after Syrian President Bashar al-Assad ordered chemical weapons to be used against civilians in April of a year ago, Trump called Mattis and said he wanted to assassinate Assad.

Woodward quoted Mattis as telling staff: "We're not going to do any of that". It describes how Trump's closest aides have taken extraordinary measures in the White House to try to stop what they saw as his most unsafe impulses, going so far as to swipe and hide papers from his desk so he wouldn't sign them.

The session happened in January, according to Woodward, and during it Trump contradicted himself repeatedly and eventually got angry. For the liberal elites in major cities such as Washington, New York or San Francisco, the book is simply another confirmation that Trump is unfit for office and a danger to the country and the world. "While I generally enjoy reading fiction, this is a uniquely Washington brand of literature, and his anonymous sources do not lend credibility", Mattis said. He's this dumb southerner.

Trump has publicly criticised Sessions, but on Wednesday he denied ever using such language to describe anyone.

He says the book is "already discredited" with "so many lies and phony sources", rejecting an allegation that he had used the terms "mentally retarded" and "dumb Southerner" to describe Attorney General Jeff Sessions. "This thing's a goddamn hoax", Trump said, according to Woodward, adding that, "I don't really want to testify". He made this up to divide!

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