‘Fiction!’ Trump says he’ll write ‘real book’ in response to Woodward’s publication

Tuesday, 11 Sep, 2018

Watergate investigative reporter Bob Woodward's new book "Fear: Trump in the White House" details a chaotic West Wing in which some former staffers actively deceive and undermine Trump's orders - because they feared he would endanger the country.

He explained that Trump also regularly ignores advice from experts.

In the interview, Woodward discussed his new book "Fear: Trump in the White House", and said Trump is fixated on the fact that the United States spends $US3.5 billion a year to station troops in South Korea in order to maintain military presence on the peninsula.

Weeks after Trump considered sending that tweet, Woodward writes, the president asked the National Security Council: "What do we get by maintaining a massive military presence in the Korean peninsula?"

Woodward continued, "He jeopardizes things in the economy by doing things that experts - '99.9% of the people say don't do tariffs".

The criticism of Trump is on-point and damning, as it should be, as it has no other way to be for a President who surrounded himself with associates many of whom are now felons.

Woodward said he wouldn't have used the op-ed column from a senior Trump official that The New York Times published last week.

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.

Trump has called the forthcoming book "total fiction - just like he wrote in the past about other presidents".

"The Woodward book is a scam", Trump said.

After waking up on Monday, the president tweeted a volley of attacks and denounced the award-winning journalist's reconstruction of scenes in which frustrated aides scramble to contain the president's impulses.

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.

It leads us to question Cohn's telling of the story to Woodward and why Woodward never corroborated Cohn's story with anyone at the White House.

"Have you ever done one of these books, know you talked to a source and the source comes out publicly after the publication and says, 'That's not true, '" Guthrie asked. Dems can't stand losing.

Former chief of staff Reince Priebus is described as "a little rat", according to Woodward's book. The president has yet to say whether he'd go that far, but Pence says he'd be willing to submit to such an examination.

The book also quotes Mattis, after a contentious National Security Council meeting on January 19, as saying Trump acted like and had the understanding of "a fifth or sixth-grader".

The reduced display compared to past years earned a thank you note from Trump, who hailed it as a "big and very positive statement from North Korea".

Trump has said the Justice Department should investigate and unmask the anonymous author.

Monaem Sarker: President Donald Trump's 20 months in office have aged many Americans at least a multiple of that length of time.