Bob Woodward's book describes a dysfunctional Trump White House

Posted September 05, 2018

The Washington Post says Woodward's book was written from hundreds of hours of interviews on "deep background", meaning the information could be used without saying who provided it.

Woodward quotes an exasperated Chief of Staff John Kelly doubting Trump's mental faculties, declaring during one meeting, "We're in Crazytown".

U.S. President Donald Trump wanted to have Syrian President Bashar al-Assad assassinated previous year but his defense secretary ignored the request, according to a new book that depicts top Trump aides sometimes disregarding presidential orders to limit what they saw as damaging and risky behavior.

"The idea I ever called the President an idiot is not true", Kelly said in a statement distributed by the White House. "He's this dumb Southerner", Trump said, affecting an exaggerated Southern accent.

The Washington Post gets an advance look at Bob Woodward's book on Donald Trump and it describes a "nervous breakdown" of the presidency.

The Post describes Trump's former personal attorney in the Russian Federation probe as skittish about Trump's ability to testify without perjuring himself, quoting John Dowd as saying, "Don't testify".

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'Don't testify. It's either that or an orange jumpsuit, ' he is quoted telling the president. "You've always been fair", said Trump at the beginning of the call. Later, Kelly told Cohn, "I would have taken that resignation letter and shoved it up his ass six different times".

A Bob Woodward expose book has been a rite of passage for presidential administrations since the storied investigative reporter first made a name for himself by breaking Richard Nixon's Watergate scandal. After Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad launched a chemical attack on Syrians in April 2017, Trump is said to have demanded Mattis launch an assassination attempt.

The book is out on Tuesday, but extracts were published by the Washington Post yesterday. The freakish silence suggests that even if Woodward's account is not fully accurate, this White House is too dysfunctional and disorganized to quickly rebut explosive, firsthand claims of incompetence on two of the country's biggest media platforms.

It also says he called Mr Trump an "idiot", an account that Mr Kelly denied. "We're doing this in order to prevent World War III", Defense Secretary Jim Mattis told him. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analyses from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

Since the 1970s Woodward has hardly rested, writing another 17 books, including ones on Bill Clinton, George W. Bush and Barack Obama, all of which had cooperation from the White House.

"Let's fucking kill him!"

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Now, both CNN and the Post recount a scene from the book in which Trump sits down with his then-personal lawyer John Dowd for a mock interview. In it, the president claims he was never contacted for an interview or informed of Woodward's soon-to-be-published work - an assertion the reporter successfully rebuts.

In one anecdote, Trump questioned his National Security Council on January 19 about why the United States maintained a costly presence on the Korean peninsula.

US Ambassador Nikki Haley denied Tuesday that Trump had ever planned to assassinate Assad.

"I think the President of the United States can not be seen taking the fifth".

Trump's own former lawyer John Dowd called him "a fucking liar", the book says.

The publication of Mr Woodward's book has been anticipated for weeks, and current and former White House officials estimate that almost all their colleagues co-operated with the famed Watergate journalist.

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