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Bob Woodward: 'Great Washington Denial Machine' Driven By Politics, Not Truth

Trump fires back at Bob Woodward book with statements from James Mattis and John Kelly

WASHINGTON - Bob Woodward, the author of a new book describing how top aides to US President Donald Trump have attempted to limit what they saw as his unsafe behavior, said on Sunday he would not have published the anonymous op-ed by an administration official that appeared in the New York Times last week.

President Trump on Monday morning ripped Bob Woodward's new book as a "total joke", threatening that he'll write the "real book" about his presidency.

In response, Pulitzer Prize-winning Mr Woodward, who along with Carl Bernstein exposed the Watergate scandal in the 1970s, said Mr Mattis and Mr Kelly "are not telling the truth" when denying they made the remarks and "these are political statements to protect their jobs".

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

In another part of the book, Mattis allegedly said that Trump had the understanding of a "fifth- or sixth-grader" of the situation on the Korean peninsula.

The disturbing portrait of Trump in the book appeared to be confirmed by an anonymous article by a member of the Trump administration in the New York Times this week.

Several prominent figures in the book have denied quotes that Woodward attributes to them.

In his book Fear, which comes out Tuesday, Woodward describes Trump behaving erratically and impulsively, even on significant issues of national security, and insulting some of his senior officials.

Woodward said, '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".

As part of his description of widespread White House dysfunction, Woodward recounted an incident in which the president complained about American troops in the Korean peninsula and that his staff tried to explain their goal.

Actually, Guthrie's question was a softball, giving Woodward a chance to explain, somewhat confusingly, that his sources might be anonymous but the "incidents" are not. "You can not take this book too seriously.' Katelyn Caralle, Washington Examiner", Trump wrote. Dems can't stand losing. 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 White House last week called Woodward's new book "nothing more than fabricated stories".

At a National Security Council meeting, Trump disregarded the significance of the U.S. military presence on the Korean Peninsula, including an intelligence operation that allows officials to detect North Korean missile launches within seconds. 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.

Harrington said the Times' decision to publish the op-ed anonymously was a risky one considering the media's credibility problem and the implications the author makes. "We have a President who is not capable of doing the job, who clearly has these temper tantrums, doesn't know enough to be making numerous decisions he makes".