Donald Trump Responds to Bob Woodward Book: 'I Question Everybody and Everything'

Bob Woodward's new book has chief of staff John Kelly calling President Trump an'idiot who has'gone off the rails

Bob Woodward's new book has chief of staff John Kelly calling President Trump an'idiot who has'gone off the rails

A quintessential reporter who first put the fear of god into Richard Nixon's Washington DC when he broke the Watergate story in the early 1970s with Post colleague Carl Bernstein, Woodward's scathing account about the neurotic and dysfunctional Trump presidency has already put Fear on the top of the Amazon bestseller chart. "Don't know why Washington politicians don't change libel laws?"

White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders dismissed the upcoming release when asked in Tuesday's press briefing.

Woodward's book is the latest to throw the Trump administration into damage-control mode with explosive anecdotes and concerns about the commander in chief. Following statements of denial from Kelly, Mattis and others in the book, Trump suggested there was political motivation behind the timing of the book's release.

Mr Trump says quotes attributed to Mr Mattis and Mr Kelly were "made up frauds, a con on the public". Trump has frequently threatened legal action against others he says have wronged him without following through.

On Twitter Wednesday, Trump appeared to defend himself further, saying: "I'm tough as hell on people & if I weren't, nothing would get done".

On the call, Trump sounded anxious, repeating his refrain that it would be a "bad" book for him, and that Woodward did not understand just how successful he had been in office.

He later said that he did hear about Woodward's attempts from Graham, but noted that because Woodward didn't speak with him the reporter's upcoming tome would be "very inaccurate", and "that's too bad".

"I've been on the receiving end of a Bob Woodward book", he tweeted Tuesday.

Allies said some of the ire in Trump's orbit was focused on former staffers such as ex-staff secretary Rob Porter and onetime economic adviser Gary Cohn, who are sympathetically portrayed.

Even so - whether at Trump's side because they believe, they serve or they finagle - everyone in the White House should take careful note of the person they're dealing with and the person whom Woodward has fleshed out. You're like a little baby that needed to be changed.

"'So it sounds like you're on the fence about going to prom with me?'"

In one passage, for example, Woodward recounted a conversation in which the president supposedly called his Attorney General Jeff Sessions "mentally retarded". He is openly longing to fire Attorney General Jeff Sessions for failing to quash the Russian Federation investigation, even though Sessions has in every other respect done Trump's bidding to the letter.

The statement from Mr Kelly says: "The idea I ever called the president an idiot is not true".

In one small group meeting, Kelly said of Trump: "He's an idiot". Johnny Isakson of Georgia said, according to The Post.

"They don't tell me", Trump replied. "It's either that or an orange jumpsuit".

Defense Secretary James Mattis responded: "We're doing this in order to prevent World War III". The president and staff including Kelly, have denied Woodward's account.

'Mattis was particularly exasperated and alarmed, telling close associates that the president acted like - and had the understanding of - 'a fifth- or sixth-grader, " Woodward writes.

The book also claims Trump wanted to "kill" Syrian President Bashar al-Assad earlier this year after he defied the USA leader by again using chemical weapons.

In his new book, Fear: Trump in the White House, Woodward says the president's legal team was so anxious about Trump sitting down with special counsel Robert Mueller, they held a mock interview session.

But Trump, concerned about the optics of a president refusing to testify and convinced that he could handle Mueller's questions, had by then decided otherwise. "This is the worst job I've ever had".

In the book, Trump is described by staff as ignorant and impulsive.

Watch MRC's Dan Gainor's interview with CBN News' Efrem Graham about the Woodward book on Trump and media coverage of it. I'll never be a staffer. "Maybe I wasn't given messages that he called", the president told the conservative news outlet.

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