Published: Tue, September 11, 2018
Worldwide | By Victor Meyer

Trump vents over leaks as Woodward pushes back on criticism

Trump vents over leaks as Woodward pushes back on criticism

It would not surprise me if President Trump himself wrote the op-ed just to shine the light on someone else and blame the "fake news" and blame the "deep state".

Trump tweeted Monday that he has been subjected to "Phony books, articles and T.V. "hits" like no other pol has had to endure".

When asked if it happened with this book, Woodward refused to answer, saying he wants to focus on Trump's actions.

Kelly last week also denied quotes attributed to him in the book in which he allegedly said that Trump was "unhinged" and "an idiot" whose administration had turned into "Crazytown".

The White House on Monday sought to project an image of productive forward momentum, even as President Donald Trump and many of his aides remain sidetracked and preoccupied by dual accounts of a warring and mutinous West Wing.

Ms. Gurthrie pressed on the statements his book attributes to Chief of Staff John Kelly and Secretary of Defense James Mattis, which both have denied.

In another part of the book, Mattis allegedly said that Trump had the understanding of a "fifth- or sixth-grader" of the situation on the Korean peninsula.

"I think you've always been fair", Trump said in a recorded conversation with Woodward released by the Washington Post.

"You can, in an nearly microscopic way, establish what occurred - and that's what I've done in this book". Woodward notes a September 2017 incident, for instance, in which Trump economic advisor Gary Cohn withdrew papers from the president's desk which would keep him from withdrawing from KORUS, a key trade agreement with South Korea.

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Withdrawing from that trade agreement, known as KORUS, could jeopardize a top-secret intelligence operation that enables the quickly detect any intercontinental ballistic missiles launched from North Korea, according to Woodward. The tweets attracted widespread attention and concern - "the Internet lost its collective mind", as Woodward wrote in his book.

Woodward's book has stayed in the spotlight since last Tuesday, when the first excerpts were published.

To the surprise of no one, Woodward does not and is not asked to explain why, if Trump's management style has created a "constitutional crisis", the country is doing so well.

"When I heard about this, from notes of that NSC meeting - I've never heard anything like that", Woodward tells NPR.

Asked later whether the White House would list all the things in Woodward's book that are wrong, Sanders said such an exercise "would be a complete and utter waste of our time, so no".

Woodward gained journalistic fame almost five decades ago as one of the Postreporters whose investigative stories about White House corruption helped drive President Richard Nixon from office and now has written books about eight USA presidents.

"The fact that that's actually being honestly discussed is ridiculous, and frankly it's insulting" to the people who voted for Trump, Sanders said.

Sanders fired back: "I think we would say that it's about as ridiculous as most of Bob Woodward's book".

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