Having now read Bob Woodward'sFear, I am struck by the selective and often misleading portrait it paints of the President and his administration.
The White House on Monday called Woodward's work "reckless" and did not rule out the possibility of a lawsuit.
"There's one scene last year in the Pentagon where Trump is there and Secretary of State [Rex] Tillerson said, 'This is what's kept the peace for 70 years, '" Woodward recalled, referring to a conversation about national security protocols.
"These are political statements to protect their jobs - totally understandable", Woodward said.
Mattis issued a statement, tweeted at least twice by Trump, saying, "The contemptuous words about the President attributed to me in Woodward's book were never uttered by me or in my presence". "I think that's a shame". Woodward said that he interviewed more than 100 people, including one person nine times.
Cohn also said that Trump floated an idea for making money off of rising interest rates: "We should just go borrow a lot of money, hold it, and then sell it to make money", Trump reportedly said.
But Woodward says in his book there was an even more risky tweet that wasn't sent, declaring that Trump was withdrawing the family members of USA troops from South Korea.
Woodward, a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, said the book is based on first-hand reporting and anonymous White House sources, including some who were extremely reluctant to disclose information, or even speak with him. "It doesn't mean I was right".
Finally, Trump Jr. acknowledged that the Democrats could win back the House during the midterm elections. Dems can't stand losing. Trump has personally taken offense to the book's contents, which he described as "another assault against me".
Trump tweeted Monday that he has been subjected to "Phony books, articles and T.V. "hits" like no other pol has had to endure".
That was Donald Trump in 2013, years before he declared Mexican immigrants "rapists" and himself a candidate for president.
Woodward dismissed their written statements as unpersuasive. "The idea that a secretary of defense has to tell the president that all of these actions are created to prevent the ultimate catastrophe and then Mattis goes on and says, you know, that if we don't keep these programs, which are very sensitive, the only deterrent option we have would be the nuclear option".