Trump amps up attacks on Woodward

Bob Woodward's new book has chief of staff John Kelly calling President Trump an'idiot who has'gone off the rails

Colbert joked that the book, which is titled Fear: Trump in the White House, is "a book named after the emotion Trump feels whenever he sees a book".

Even so - whether at Trump's side because they believe, they serve or they finagle - everyone in the White House should take careful note of the person they're dealing with and the person whom Woodward has fleshed out. We already knew, after a year-and-a-half of chronic leaks in Trump's Washington, that many in his circle didn't think highly of him and that he returned the favor.

According to Woodward, Mattis told staff to ignore a tirade by Trump against Syria's president Bashar al-Assad in the wake of a chemical weapons attack in April 2017 and the USA president's alleged statement: "Let's fucking kill him!" In statements, Kelly called the book "another pathetic attempt to smear people close to President Trump", while Mattis said the words attributed to him in the book were "never uttered by me or in my presence". But Mattis reportedly told an aide: "We're not going to do any of that". The national security team then set about developing options for a conventional air strike.

In the transcript, Woodward says he reached out to various White House officials and senators about interviewing Trump, but it did not happen.

Details from the book were published by the Washington Post on Tuesday. The president told Woodward he would've done an interview but wasn't aware of any requests.

Woodward says he has "gained a lot of insight and documentation" and that his book will be a "tough look at the world and your administration and you".

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Back in 2013, Mr Trump had responded to a row between Woodward and the Obama administration with a tweet saying: "Only the Obama WH can get away with attacking Bob Woodward".

"I never spoke to him", Trump told The Daily Caller.

"This guy is mentally retarded", Mr Trump said of Mr Sessions, according to the book.

"Let's just step back for a minute and consider the fact that Trump is trying to appoint to a lifetime seat on the Supreme Court while simultaneously being implicated in a truly staggering number of criminal cases and corruption scandals", Seth Meyers said on Late Night.

"I have the pleasure of being privy to those conversations. and I have not once heard the president talk about assassinating Assad", Ms Haley told reporters on Tuesday. Trump himself has specifically denied that senior aides, such as former National Economic Council Director Gary Cohn, were removing papers from his desk, saying "that's false", that "it's just made up" and that "there was nobody taking anything from me", while speculating that the statements could have come from "disgruntled employees or just made up" by Woodward. Kelly's maintained that the "The idea I ever called the president an idiot is not true".

The president's former lead personal attorney, John Dowd, is quoted in graphic language referring to Trump as a "liar" who will end up wearing an "orange jump suit" if he gives testimony to special counsel Robert Muller, who is looking into ties between the 2016 Trump election campaign and Russian Federation. Mattis is somebody who continues to work in the White House because he's a public servant and career military leader who knows he offers real insulation against Trump's war-mongering.

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