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'Lies and Phony Sources': White House Dismisses 'Fabricated' Tell-All by Watergate Journalist Woodward

09-06-2018
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Watch MRC's Dan Gainor's interview with CBN News' Efrem Graham about the Woodward book on Trump and media coverage of it.

WASHINGTON – A tell-all book by Washington Post journalist Bob Woodward, a veteran reporter known for his role in exposing the Watergate scandal that toppled Richard Nixon's presidency, is continuing to draw fire from the White House.

Woodward claims his book, Fear: Trump in the White House, gives an inside look at the president's inner circle. The 448-page work supposedly recaps confidential background interviews revealing a White House in chaos.

For instance, Woodward writes that the president's legal team was so worried about Trump sitting down with special counsel Robert Mueller, they held a mock interview session.    

The book claims the president "made something up" during the mock interview and lashed out at his team, leading his lawyers to urge him not to testify out of fear of perjury.

"Don't testify. It's either that or an orange jumpsuit," John Dowd, Trump's former lawyer in the Russia probe, is quoted in the book.

Particularly incendiary are the book's claims about the rocky relationship between Trump and Attorney General Jeff Sessions regarding what the president views as his lack of action on the Russia probe.

"This guy (Sessions) is mentally retarded. He's this dumb Southerner," Trump is quoted as telling former White House staff secretary Rob Porter.

"How in the world was I ever persuaded to pick him for my attorney general? He couldn't even be a one-person country lawyer down in Alabama. What business does he have being attorney general?" the president reportedly said.

President Trump, however, is denying Woodward's claims.

"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 (Woodward) made this up to divide!"

In addition, Woodward's tell-all contains descriptions of current and former aides disparaging the president's judgment. Specifically, the book claims Chief of Staff John Kelly called the commander in chief an "idiot" and that "he's gone off the rails" – something Kelly dismisses as being patently false.

"The idea I ever called the president an idiot is not true," Kelly said in a statement Tuesday afternoon. "As I stated back in May and still firmly stand behind: 'I spend more time with the president than anyone else, and we have an incredibly candid and strong relationship. He always knows where I stand, and he and I both know this story is total BS.'"

The book also says several aides claimed they removed papers from his desk to stop him from withdrawing from a pair of trade agreements.

Woodward does not name sources but did release a conversation with Trump:
 
Trump: "We're going to have a very inaccurate book, and that's too bad. But I don't blame you entirely."

Woodward: "No, it's… it's going to be accurate. I promise."

Trump: "Yeah, okay. Well, accurate is that nobody's ever done a better job than I'm doing as president – that, I can tell you."

Echoing the president, White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders dismissed the book as fabricated.

"Look, he may have hundreds of hours of tapes but I think most of those probably come from disgruntled former employees," Sanders told ABC's "Good Morning America." "It's a lot of anonymous sources."

Earlier this week, Sanders suggested the Woodward tell-all is nothing more than a desperate attempt by Democrats and the mainstream media to influence the midterm elections.

"This book is nothing more than fabricated stories, many by former disgruntled employees, told to make the president look bad," she said in a statement. "Democrats and their allies in the media understand the president's policies are working and with success like this, no one can beat him in 2020 – not even close."

The book is expected to be released on Sept. 11.

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