Sanders discredits Woodward book on Trump

In an interview on ABC, White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said the new book on President Trump written by journalist Bob Woodward does not depict what is going on inside the White House.

Posted: Sep 6, 2018 3:17 AM
Updated: Sep 6, 2018 3:17 AM

President Donald Trump on Tuesday evening amped up his attacks on veteran journalist Bob Woodward, baselessly suggesting he is a Democratic operative because his new book portrays chaos and dysfunction inside the White House.

The tweet comes 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 North Korea. Following statements of denial from Kelly, Mattis and others in the book, Trump suggested there was political motivation behind the timing of the book's release.

"The Woodward book has already been refuted and discredited by General (Secretary of Defense) James Mattis and General (Chief of Staff) John Kelly," Trump wrote. "Their quotes were made up frauds, a con on the public. Likewise other stories and quotes. Woodward is a Dem operative? Notice timing?"

Late Tuesday night, Trump denied a specific portion of the book about Attorney General Jeff Sessions. Woodward reported Trump called Sessions "mentally retarded" and a "dumb Southerner."

"The already discredited Woodward book, so many lies and phony sources, has me calling Jeff Sessions 'mentally retarded' and 'a dumb southerner,' " Trump tweeted. "I said NEITHER, never used those terms on anyone, including Jeff, and being a southerner is a GREAT thing. He made this up to divide!"

Woodward, however, said he stood by his reporting in a statement obtained by CNN's Jamie Gangel.

Trump had earlier offered pushback on Tuesday in an interview with the conservative publication Daily Caller.

"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 avail.

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.

"The contemptuous words about the President attributed to me in Woodward's book were never uttered by me or in my presence. While I generally enjoy reading fiction, this is a uniquely Washington brand of literature, and his anonymous sources do not lend credibility," Mattis said.

"In serving in this administration, the idea that I would show contempt for the elected commander in chief, President Trump, or tolerate disrespect to the office of the President from within our Department of Defense, is a product of someone's rich imagination," he added.

Trump's former personal lawyer John Dowd also pushed back against allegations against him, including that he described the President as "a f---ing liar" and that he told Trump he would end up in an "orange jump suit" if he testified to special counsel Robert Mueller.

Dowd said he would not address every "inaccurate statement" attributed to him but did deny that he had called Trump a liar or that he would end up in an orange jumpsuit.

Woodward's reporting is drawn from hundreds of hours of interviews with people with firsthand knowledge of the events he describes and quotes he includes are backed up by documentation he reviewed.

"When I have attributed exact quotations, thoughts or conclusions to the participants, that information comes from the person, a colleague with direct knowledge, or from meeting notes, personal diaries, files and government or personal documents," Woodward wrote in a note to readers included in the book.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 145636

Reported Deaths: 3745
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto963299
Hinds9584195
Harrison6848109
Jackson6124118
Rankin528598
Lee484295
Madison4633105
Forrest368186
Jones345287
Lauderdale3350143
Lafayette315049
Washington3097107
Lamar281849
Oktibbeha239261
Bolivar239083
Lowndes228863
Neshoba2164115
Panola211749
Marshall208350
Leflore200890
Pontotoc194728
Monroe190277
Sunflower189755
Lincoln186165
Warren172257
Tate164251
Union160925
Pike160458
Copiah158940
Yazoo151239
Scott150229
Itawamba147634
Coahoma147443
Pearl River144467
Simpson144253
Alcorn143925
Prentiss140429
Grenada136945
Adams136548
Leake131843
Holmes124961
George122224
Tippah121530
Covington117636
Winston116624
Wayne115823
Hancock114139
Marion111046
Attala107833
Tishomingo106142
Newton102729
Chickasaw102432
Tallahatchie95527
Clarke88553
Clay87027
Jasper81122
Walthall75028
Stone72414
Montgomery71925
Calhoun71613
Carroll70614
Lawrence70214
Yalobusha69427
Noxubee69217
Smith68816
Perry65225
Tunica59619
Greene58422
Claiborne57416
Jefferson Davis54217
Humphreys52618
Amite51214
Benton48417
Quitman4796
Webster42014
Kemper40917
Wilkinson38622
Jefferson33811
Franklin3235
Choctaw3077
Sharkey30617
Issaquena1114
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Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 236865

Reported Deaths: 3472
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson31043491
Mobile19446360
Tuscaloosa12684150
Madison12528146
Montgomery12122235
Shelby992276
Baldwin837684
Lee759765
Morgan626247
Calhoun6049113
Etowah600564
Marshall596153
Houston510838
DeKalb469635
Cullman421136
Limestone408844
St. Clair403955
Elmore398961
Lauderdale387253
Walker356199
Talladega339044
Jackson302524
Colbert297641
Blount282236
Autauga266139
Franklin246233
Coffee236615
Dale228454
Dallas222331
Russell21923
Chilton218537
Covington215933
Escambia196931
Tallapoosa171790
Chambers171448
Pike156014
Clarke155319
Marion135535
Winston126623
Lawrence123936
Geneva11848
Pickens117618
Marengo117424
Barbour116710
Bibb115717
Butler114341
Randolph100321
Cherokee99624
Hale93231
Washington89918
Clay89623
Fayette86216
Henry8436
Lowndes78929
Monroe77911
Cleburne75614
Macon71720
Crenshaw70330
Bullock69019
Conecuh68214
Perry6726
Lamar6337
Wilcox62818
Sumter56222
Choctaw41813
Greene41317
Coosa3144
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