2018-09-05 00:04:44 UTC
Washington (CNN) President Donald Trump on Tuesday downplayed a bombshell new
book by veteran journalist Bob Woodward portraying the chaos and dysfunction
inside the White House as "just another bad book."
Trump offered his pushback on Tuesday in an interview with the conservative
publication Daily Caller after CNN and The Washington Post reported on some of
the book's most explosive allegations, including disparaging comments Defense
Secretary Jim Mattis and White House chief of staff John Kelly privately made
about Trump and military actions the President sought to take against Syria and
"It's just another bad book. He's had a lot of credibility problems," Trump said
of Woodward, who has reported on multiple presidents and alongside Carl
Bernstein broke news of the Watergate scandal that ultimately led to President
Richard Nixon's resignation.
"It's just nasty stuff," Trump said.
Trump on Tuesday also lamented the fact that he did not sit for an interview
with Woodward before publication. Woodward sought through multiple White House
officials and others close to Trump to secure an interview with him, to no
Woodward's 448-page book, "Fear: Trump in the White House," offers a devastating
portrait of a dysfunctional Trump White House, detailing how senior aides --
both current and former Trump administration officials -- grew exasperated with
the President and increasingly worried about his erratic behavior, ignorance and
penchant for lying. 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 dangerous impulses, going so far as to swipe and hide papers from his desk
so he wouldn't sign them.
Trump called the allegation that officials removed paperwork from his desk to
prevent him from signing it "false" and "made up."
Trump's comments Tuesday followed a pair of statements the White House released
generally panning the book.
White House press secretary Sarah Sanders called it "nothing more than
fabricated stories, many by former disgruntled employees, told to make the
President look bad."
White House chief of staff John Kelly also rejected Woodward's reporting that he
called Trump an "idiot," even though multiple outlets have also reported that
Kelly has privately disparaged the President.
"The idea I ever called the President an idiot is not true," Kelly said in a
statement hours after the report was released. Kelly added that he and the
President "have an incredibly candid and strong relationship" and that "he and I
both know this story is total BS."
"This is another pathetic attempt to smear people close to President Trump and
distract from the administration's many successes," Kelly said.
Mattis also denied the quotes attributed to him in Woodward's book.