As Trump fumes over leaks, Woodward pushes back on criticism

In a series of Tweets Monday, the president continued to lash out at Woodward personally and his book's portrayal of Trump as a foul-mouthed and bumbling egotist.

Defence secretary Jim Mattis is quoted as saying the president has the mental capacity of a "fifth or sixth grader", while chief of staff John Kelly is said to have called Mr Trump "an idiot".

In response, Pulitzer Prize-winning Mr Woodward, who along with Carl Bernstein exposed the Watergate scandal in the 1970s, said Mr Mattis and Mr Kelly "are not telling the truth" when denying they made the remarks and "these are political statements to protect their jobs".

During the ABC interview, Trump Jr. said he believes the commentary was written by a "low-level person", and he said that the Justice Department should investigate the author, as his father has suggested.

In "Fear", Woodward claims Trump accused Christie of "stealing" from him while he was assisting on the presidential campaign trail, notes The Hill.

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Trump and several members of his administration were quoted have called the book "fiction and fabrication".

For his part, Woodward told NBC that while the sources are anonymous, the incidents are not-he provided a date and time for each one that appeared in the book. It has a margin of error of 2 percentage points.

By the looks of it, Woodward has plenty of grave, highly specific details to offer readers about the threat posed by the Trump White House, not just to its staffers but to everyone living under its rule. In other words, the op-ed confirms the book's central thesis about a chaotic White House led by an ignorant and impetuous president, although Woodward steers clear of ascribing "amorality" to Trump as the op-ed's anonymous author has done. By no means anti-Trump, Bob Woodward has produced a book that, for all its gossipy tidbits, gives far more respectability to Trump's program than it deserves.

In early 2018, Trump sent several belligerent tweets that seemed created to taunt North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. "It's unfair. Now everybody's saying I'm going to be impeached". "I am proud of my service in the Trump Administration, and I continue to support the President and his economic agenda". He said his book "is as carefully done as you can do an excavation of the reality of what goes on".

The highly anticipated book, which chronicles some unflattering moments in the Trump administration, has been sourced from numerous current and former officials. Trump also cited the fact that North Korea has not tested a ballistic missile or nuclear material in many months. This, during a conversation on Afghanistan, during which Trump also said, according to Woodward, that Modi told him the USA had "gotten nothing out of Afghanistan".

  • Michelle Webb