- President Donald Trump responded responded to explosive new claims in veteran journalist Bob Woodward’s new book, “Fear: Trump in the White House.”
- The books describes a chaotic White House, with fights between Trump and aides as well as arguments among White House staffers.
- In an interview with the conservative news website The Daily Caller, Trump called “Fear” just a “bad book” and said Woodward had “credibility problems.”
- White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said Woodward’s book is “nothing more than fabricated stories” with stories from “former disgruntled employees.”
- White House chief of staff John Kelly also responded to Woodward’s report that he called Trump an “idiot.”
- “The idea I ever called the President an idiot is not true,” Kelly said.
The White House on Tuesday hit back at veteran journalist Bob Woodward’s new book on President Donald Trump’s administration.
In an interview with the conservative news website The Daily Caller, Trump dismissed Woodward’s reporting.
“It’s just another bad book,” Trump said. “He’s had a lot of credibility problems.”
Trump also told The Daily Caller that he did not speak to Woodward about the book, despite the journalist’s multiple attempts to reach the president.
On Monday, The Washington Post released an audio recording of Trump and Woodward speaking about not being contacted about the book. In the recording, Trump acknowledges that Sen. Lindsey Graham mentioned that Woodward wanted to talk to speak to the president for the book, but denies that any of Woodward’s other requests through White House aides such as Kellyanne Conway made it up the chain.
“It’s just nasty stuff. I never spoke to him,” Trump said. “Maybe I wasn’t given messages that he called. I probably would have spoken to him if he’d called, if he’d gotten through. For some reason I didn’t get messages on it.”
In addition to Trump’s comments, White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders also dismissed the content of Woodward’s book.
“This book is nothing more than fabricated stories, many by former disgruntled employees, told to make the President look bad,” Sanders said in a statement.
Portions of Woodward’s book that detail a wild, chaotic White House with an often-belligerent Trump at its center were released by The Washington Post on Tuesday. Woodward is an editor at the Post.
Many of the stories detailed vocal disagreement between members of the president’s team or direct confrontations between Trump and his aides.
“While it is not always pretty, and rare that the press actually covers it, President Trump has broken through the bureaucratic process to deliver unprecedented successes for the American people,” Sanders said. “Sometimes it is unconventional, but he always gets results.”
Additionally, the White House issued a rebuttal from White House chief of staff John Kelly. In the book, entitled “Fear: Trump in the White House,” Kelly is quoted calling Trump “unhinged,” and an “idiot.”
“The idea I ever called the President an idiot is not true,” Kelly said in the statement. “As I stated back in May and still firmly stand behind: ‘I spend more time with the President than anyone else, and we have an incredibly candid and strong relationship. He always knows where I stand, and he and I both know this story is total BS’.”
Trump also disputed one particular story during the Daily Caller interview. Woodward reported that former economic adviser Gary Cohn was able to prevent Trump from pulling the US out of two major trade deals – the North American Free Trade Agreement and the US-Korea Free Trade Agreement – by stealing papers ordering the withdrawals off the president’s desk.
Trump told the Daily Caller the story was “it’s just made up” and “there was nobody taking anything from me.”
Here’s the full response from Sanders:
“This book is nothing more than fabricated stories, many by former disgruntled employees, told to make the President look bad. While it is not always pretty, and rare that the press actually covers it, President Trump has broken through the bureaucratic process to deliver unprecedented successes for the American people. Sometimes it is unconventional, but he always gets results. Democrats and their allies in the media understand the President’s policies are working and with success like this, no one can beat him in 2020 – not even close.”
“The idea I ever called the President an idiot is not true. As I stated back in May and still firmly stand behind: ‘I spend more time with the President than anyone else, and we have an incredibly candid and strong relationship. He always knows where I stand, and he and I both know this story is total BS. I’m committed to the President, his agenda, and our country. This is another pathetic attempt to smear people close to President Trump and distract from the administration’s many successes’.”
And the response from Defence Secretary Jim Mattis:
“The contemptuous words about the President attributed to me in Woodward’s book were never uttered by me or in my presence. While I generally enjoy reading fiction, this is a uniquely Washington brand of literature, and his anonymous sources do not lend credibility.
“While responsible policy making in the real world is inherently messy, it is also essential that we challenge every assumption to find the best option. I embrace such debate and the open competition of ideas. In just over a year, these robust discussions and deliberations have yielded significant results, including the near annihilation of the ISIS caliphate, unprecedented burden sharing by our NATO allies, the repatriation of US service member remains from North Korea, and the improved readiness of our armed forces. Our defence policies have also enjoyed overwhelming bipartisan support in Congress.
“In serving in this administration, the idea that I would show contempt for the elected Commander-in-Chief president Trump, or tolerate disrespect to the office of the President from within [our] Department of Defence, is a product of someone’s rich imagination.”
Check out some of the details from Woodward’s book:
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