Damning Bob Woodward book depicts 'crazytown' Trump White House

Blanche Robertson
September 7, 2018

"We are incredibly proud to have published this piece, which adds significant value to the public's understanding of what is going on in the Trump administration from someone who is in a position to know", a Times spokesperson said in response to the White House statements.

In another reported excerpt, Woodward writes that Trump told Defense Secretary Jim Mattis that he wanted to assassinate Syrian leader Bashar Assad after a chemical attack in April 2017.

The book said James Mattis, the defence secretary, told Trump he would "get right on it" but instead developed a plan for a limited air strike that did not threaten Assad personally.

Mattis said in a statement that he never uttered "contemptuous words" about the president, and added that Woodward's "anonymous sources do not lend credibility" to his book.

An upcoming book by journalist Bob Woodward says President Donald Trump's chief of staff privately called him an "idiot" and presidential aides plucked sensitive documents off Trump's desk and thought he was often unaware of foreign policy basics. He's gone off the rails. The book is set for release on September 11.

While he does not name his sources, Woodward says he spoke with many people now or formerly working for Trump as he researched the book, discussing not just the president's personality but also major policy debates regarding North Korea and Afghanistan. The Washington Post on Tuesday published details from "Fear: Trump in the White House".

Trump said it was a "gutless editorial" and "really a disgrace", and his press secretary called on the official to resign. "I think it probably wouldn't have made a difference in the book".

Trump followed this with: 'The already discredited Woodward book, so many lies and phony sources, has me calling Jeff Sessions "mentally retarded" and "a dumb southerner". In the call, Trump at first acknowledges that Woodward is "fair".

The 448-page new book reportedly relies on hundreds of hours of taped interviews, on the record and on background, but does not feature an interview with Trump himself.

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It also raises fresh questions about whether President Donald Trump's own rhetoric may undercut the Justice Department's efforts. Mr Trump, who did not address the specifics of the charges, did not name the Republicans he was referring to on Twitter.

Mr Trump's personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani also hit back on his own portrayal in the book, saying an incident depicted in the book was "entirely false", and adding that Mr Woodward "never called me".

"I think the basic concern that a lot of Americans will have when they read the piece is that the president can not be trusted by his own senior officials", Lawrence Jacobs of the University of Minnesota's Humphrey School of Public Affairs told KARE. We're having victories that people don't even know about. It also says he called Trump an "idiot", an account Kelly denied Tuesday.

A central theme of the book is the stealthy machinations used by those in Trump's inner sanctum to try to control his impulses and prevent disasters, both for the president personally and for the nation he was elected to lead.

Those are some of the explosive anecdotes in Woodward's book on Trump's first 18 months in office.

According to Woodward's reporting, Trump stumbles and contradicts himself during the exercise and Dowd is convinced that Trump should never sit down with Justice Department investigators.

- White House chief of staff John Kelly on working for Mr Trump: "He's an idiot".

Mr Mattis is quoted explaining to Mr Trump why the USA maintains troops on the Korean Peninsula to monitor North Korea's missile activities.

The White House hit back at "fabricated stories" as the long-awaited book piled fresh pressure on a president besieged by multiple investigations and a looming election that could damage his Republican Party. "Ask her. She never told me about it".

Trump also called Sessions was a "traitor" for from the special counsel Robert Mueller's Russian Federation investigation, according to the Washington Post, which reviewed a copy of the book.

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