'Lies and phony sources': Trump dismisses Bob Woodward's book

06 September, 2018, 01:43 | Author: Conrad Doyle
  • US President Donald Trump was not interviewed for the book

"I'm committed to the President, his agenda, and our country".

Again and again, Woodward recounts at length how Trump's national security team was shaken by his lack of curiosity and knowledge about world affairs and his contempt for the mainstream perspectives of military and intelligence leaders. "I stole it off his desk", Cohn told an associate, according to Woodward. "There was nobody taking anything from me", he said. Cohn couldn't be reached for comment.

Spicer apparently tried numerous times to get the secretary of defense to go on television, finally causing an exasperated Mattis to respond with a statement far clearer than a simple "no". The attack was blamed on Syrian President Bashar Assad. "It's either that or an orange jumpsuit", his then lawyer John Dowd is reported to have said - and did not understand why United States troops were deployed in South Korea.

"The book means nothing", Trump told reporters in the Oval Office.

Mattis issued a statement dismissing the book as "a uniquely Washington brand of literature" and saying the contemptuous words about Trump attributed to him "were never uttered by me or in my presence". Mattis called the book "the product of someone's rich imagination".

Bob Woodward's tell-all book has outraged the White House
ALEX BRANDON AP Bob Woodward's tell-all book has outraged the White House

If his book is any indication, Woodward probably thinks Mr Trump will need all the luck he can get.

At one point Mr Kelly, the chief of staff, reportedly said of Mr Trump during a staff meeting: "He's an idiot".

"He's gone off the rails".

White House chief of staff John Kelly on Trump: 'He's an idiot.

On 27 January, according to Woodward, the president's personal attorney John Dowd staged a mock interview session with the president to demonstrate what he feared would be the disastrous results if Mr Trump were to sit down with Robert Mueller's special counsel team investigating possible ties between the Trump campaign and Russian Federation. Woodward reported Trump called Sessions "mentally retarded" and a "dumb Southerner".

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He continued on Wednesday: "The already discredited Woodward book, so many lies and phony sources, has me calling Jeff Sessions "mentally retarded" and "a dumb southerner".

It's tempting to view Trump's conspiracy theorising and falsehoods as a show or even a strategy.

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.

"Rudy, you're a baby!"

"I have the pleasure of being privy to those conversations - when we've dealt with the chemical weapons, when we've dealt with the responses, when we've dealt with everything - and I have not once ever heard the president talk about assassinating Assad", Haley told reporters.

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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.

Although Trump begins the conversation with Woodward saying, "I think you've always been fair", once he determines the journalist is writing a tough book (which Trump characterizes as negative), his demeanor changes. When are you going to be a man? "I'm exhausted of it". When Dowd asked about the firing of FBI Director James Comey, the president unleashed a 30-minute torrent of rage.

Woodward wrote that Dowd would tell Mueller that the president did not have time for the inquiry while he was juggling the responsibilities of his new job.

Dowd re-enacted the exchange during a meeting with special prosecutor Robert Mueller. I don't want you doing any more negotiations. "Let's go in. Let's kill the f***ing lot of them".

But Trump reportedly told Dowd he would be "a real good witness", to which Dowd replied: "You are not a good witness. What are we dealing with this idiot for?'"

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