In Woodwards book, White House staffers call Trump unhinged & an idiot

US President Donald Trump was not interviewed for the book

US President Donald Trump was not interviewed for the book

According to the book, Trump told Defense Secretary Jim Mattis that he wanted to have Assad assassinated after the Syrian president launched a chemical attack on civilians in April 2017.

Carl Bernstein, who teamed with Woodward to report on the Watergate scandal that eventually toppled former President Nixon, said the book was proof the U.S.is in a "national emergency" with Trump in office.

Mike Huckabee spoke out Wednesday on The Intelligence Report against the frequent use of anonymous sources in veteran reporter Bob Woodward's new book about Trump's White House.

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".

Trump and aides pushed back on a series of incendiary scenes in the book, including Kelly calling the White House "crazytown", Mattis telling associates Trump had the understanding of "a fifth- or sixth-grader" and Cohn plucking key documents off Trump's desk so he could not sign them.

"We are going to take a strong look at our country's libel laws, so that when somebody says something that is false and defamatory about someone, that person will have meaningful recourse in our courts", Mr. Trump threatened in January.

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.

The publication of Woodward's book has been anticipated for weeks, and current and former White House officials estimate that almost all of their colleagues cooperated with the noted journalist.

The President is also said to have lashed out at former NY mayor Rudy Giuliani, now his attorney, and reportedly said he was a "baby" after he appeared on TV to defend Mr Trump over harassment allegations.

Trump himself did not speak with Woodward for the book, but the pair talked on the phone last month, with the president complaining that the journalist had not requested an interview, while Woodward insisted that he had done so via an array of intermediaries.

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

Trump also called Sessions a "traitor" for recusing himself from the Russian Federation probe, which is led by special counsel Robert Mueller, and putting Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein in charge of oversight.

In a pre-emptive strike against what is sure to be a furious White House pushback against the book, the Washington Post released an audio recording and transcript of a call the president made to Woodward in early August. Woodward's newspaper, The Washington Post, published extracts from the book Tuesday.

Image copyright AFP Image caption Trump allegedly says on Assad: "Let's [expletive] kill him!"

"Sekulow's answer was classic Trump - an answer spun out of thin air, with contradictions, made-up stuff, anger", Woodward wrote.

Woodward, in his "Fear: Trump in the White House", describes this administration in a state of total panic, with aides running about, chaotically trying to control this president's out-of-whack impulses and soothe his nervous-nelly paranoia about special counsel Robert Mueller. They want to destroy him. For Woodward, it means putting almost a half-century of credibility covering eight presidents behind a vivid account he says is supported by scores of hours of recordings.

Some of the most senior figures in Mr Trump's administration are quoted in the book disparaging the president's intellectual abilities. "We're doing this in order to prevent World War III", Mattis said, according to the book.

"I assume that means it's going to be a negative book", the president replies.

"I guess I can bring it right to the president next time", Conway said.

The book features current and former aides calling the president an "idiot" and a "liar" and depicting him as prone to rash policy decisions that aides worked furiously to derail or stall. "I'm busy", Trump said.

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