Trump book: Key sources turn heat on Bob Woodward

The New York Times building on Sept. 6 2018

The New York Times building on Sept. 6 2018

"The Woodward book is a Joke - just another assault against me, in a barrage of assaults, using now dis-proven unnamed and anonymous sources", the president tweeted Monday. Most of the books had ghost writers.

Both have enraged the President and led to new levels of suspicion among his staff, many of whom were already at odds with each other.

In fact, such omissions can be found aplenty in the book. Woodward goes on "The Daily Briefing" to talk about his new book 'Fear'.

The genesis of the steel tariffs came about in an unpredictable fashion that's become typical of the administration, Woodward told The Current's Anna Maria Tremonti in his only Canadian interview. As a result, there is no discussion of why Trump replaced his national security advisor and secretary of state with more hawkish and virulently anti-Iran voices.

Trump also derided his predecessor's return to politics.

White House officials are trying to determine the identity of the senior administration official who wrote the piece, a person who Trump said he believes is probably someone not "very high up".

During the interview, Trump Jr. also said he is not anxious about legal exposure resulting from the special counsel's investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.




That line is, "Dowd knew he could not bring himself to say to the president, 'You're a [expletive] liar.'" Meanwhile, the book opens on the widely-reported incident featuring Gary Cohn, who was then working at the White House, taking a letter off the president's desk. It depicts a "two-track presidency" in which Trump acts according to his own whims while many of his top aides, in the author's words, work to thwart his "more misguided impulses until he is out of office". It's an example of Woodward's pattern of adopting witness accounts at face value. It has gotten to the point that publishers and authors actually hope that Trump will tweet about their books, whether to praise them or, far better for sales, to criticize them. "They are deep-background or background sources".

Woodward cites another conversation about India between former chief of staff Reince Priebus and McMaster, who discussed Modi's then upcoming visit.

The publisher also says pre-order sales of the book were the largest for any title in Simon & Schuster history.

Woodward, since becoming famous in the 1970s for his Watergate reporting, has written several bestsellers about sitting presidents.

For instance, Woodward writes in Fear, Trump wanted to withdraw from a key trade agreement with South Korea in September 2017.

According to Woodward, Trump's about-face is just another example of his impulsive and emotional governing style, while others in the White House frantically manoeuvre around him to avoid worst-case scenarios. The depth of dysfunction inside the White House.

Kelly is quoted calling Trump "an idiot", and Mattis is quoted saying Trump has the understanding of "a fifth or sixth-grader", but they've said they didn't make those statements.

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