Trump pushes back again on Woodward book before release date

Washington Free Beacon senior writer Elizabeth Harrington on Monday said she would not find it surprising if one of the sources in Bob Woodward's upcoming book wrote the New York Times' anonymous op-ed about the administration's inner workings.

In his first live interview about the book, Woodward said that "some of the things Trump did and does jeopardize the real national security".

On an unrelated matter, Pence said on CBS that he has not been called for an interview by special counsel Robert Mueller, who is investigating possible coordination between Russia and Trump's Republican presidential campaign as well as Russian interference in the 2016 USA election.

The big question underlying Mr Woodward's careful demolition of the Trump presidency is what can be done about it.

Mattis was alarmed, telling close associates after the meeting that the President acted like - and had the understanding of - 'a fifth- or sixth-grader'.

Scores of senior figures within the Trump administration, including Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Defence Secretary James Mattis, Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats and CIA Director Gina Haspel have all come forward to deny they wrote the editorial.

Woodward's book uses unnamed sources to describe life in the White House. "A central theme of the book is the stealthy machinations used by those in Trump's inner sanctum to try to control his impulses and prevent disasters, both for the president personally and for the nation he was elected to lead", wrote Philip Rucker and Bob Costa of The Post.

"At that moment there was a sense of profound alarm in the Pentagon leadership that, 'My God, one tweet and we have reliable information that the North Koreans are going to read this as an attack is imminent, '" Woodward told CBS. Woodward said, adding that the comments by the administration officials "are political statements to protect their jobs". Democrats can't stand losing.

Among Trump's anti-Fear tweets today, the president quoted a Washington Examiner writer who cautioned, "You can not take this book too seriously".

While Woodward's book draws from hundreds of hours of tapes and contains many quotes from named officials who do not dispute the quotes, Trump has been the subject of less-than-credible writing before. And you publish that transcript, because everything leaks in Washington, and the guys overseas are going to say, 'I told you he was an idiot. "[The book describes] specific people on specific dates".

For example, he said that the president imposing tariffs goes against what "99.9%" of experts have recommended.

John Dowd, the former White House legal counsel, allegedly told Robert Mueller, who is leading the investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election, that he did not want the president to testify because he would embarrass himself and the country.

"White House staffers, she said, aren't focused on "(dealing) with cowards that refuse to put their names in an anonymous letter". The unidentified official gave the piece to the Times and then sneaked back to work, hoping not to be uncovered later by a livid president.

  • Rogelio Becker