cloudy.png
Tuesday July 23rd, 2019 7:26AM

Woodward book says Trump aide privately called him 'idiot'

By The Associated Press
Related Articles
  Contact Editor

WASHINGTON (AP) — An upcoming book by journalist Bob Woodward says President Donald Trump's chief of staff privately called Trump an "idiot" and aides plucked sensitive documents off the president's desk to keep him from taking rash actions.

The book is the latest tell-all to roil the Trump administration with explosive anecdotes and concerns about the commander in chief. The Washington Post on Tuesday published details from "Fear: Trump in the White House," the Watergate reporter's forthcoming examination of Trump's first 18 months in office.

Chief of Staff John Kelly is quoted as having doubted Trump's mental faculties, declaring during one meeting, "We're in Crazytown."

Trump's former lawyer in the Russia probe, John Dowd, is also said to have doubted Trump's ability to avoid perjuring himself should he be interviewed by special counsel Robert Mueller.

"Don't testify. It's either that or an orange jumpsuit," Dowd is quoted telling the president.

And Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis is quoted explaining to Trump why the U.S. maintains troops on the South Korean peninsula to monitor the North's missile activities. "We're doing this in order to prevent World War III," Mattis says.

Woodward recounts that Mattis told "close associates that the president acted like — and had the understanding of — 'a fifth- or sixth-grader.'"

Woodward also claims that Gary Cohn, the former director of the National Economic Council, boasted of removing papers off Trump's desk to prevent their signature, including efforts by the president to withdraw from the North American Free Trade Agreement.

The White House didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.

The publication of Woodward's book has been anticipated for weeks, and current and former White House officials estimate that nearly all of their colleagues cooperated with the noted journalist, who cut his teeth bringing down Richard Nixon's presidency during Watergate.

But Trump did not speak to Woodward until after the book's manuscript was completed. The Post released audio of Trump expressing surprise about the book in an August conversation with Woodward. Woodward tells Trump he had contacted multiple officials to attempt to interview Trump and was rebuffed.

The book follows the January release of author Michael Wolff's "Fire and Fury," which led to a rift between Trump and Steve Bannon, his former chief strategist who spoke with Wolff in terms highly critical of the president and his family. Wolff's book attracted attention with its vivid anecdotes, but suffered from numerous factual inaccuracies.

Woodward's work also comes weeks after former White House aide and "Apprentice" contestant Omarosa Manigault Newman published an expose on her time in the West Wing, including audio recordings of her firing by Kelly and a follow-on conversation with the president in which he claimed to have been unaware of Kelly's decision.

Trump has been increasingly critical of anonymous sources used by reporters covering his administration. Woodward's account relies on so-called "deep background" conversations with sources, in which their identities are not disclosed.

  • Associated Categories: Associated Press (AP), AP National News, AP Online National News, Top General short headlines, AP Online Headlines - Washington, AP Entertainment
© Copyright 2019 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Potential 2020 Democrats seize on Kavanaugh Senate hearings
Some Democratic senators weighing 2020 presidential campaigns have seized upon the opening moments of Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh's Senate confirmation hearings
12:53PM ( 13 minutes ago )
Chaos marks start of Kavanaugh confirmation hearing
Chaos marks start of Kavanaugh confirmation hearing; Democrats seek delay
12:51PM ( 15 minutes ago )
EPA watchdog faults agency for Pruitt's 24/7 security costs
The Environmental Protection Agency's internal watchdog is faulting the agency for spending millions of dollars on around-the-clock security for ex-administrator Scott Pruitt
12:48PM ( 18 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel won't seek 3rd term
Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel says he won't seek a third term in 2019
12:33PM ( 33 minutes ago )
Woodward book says Trump aide privately called him 'idiot'
Bob Woodward book on Trump: White House chief of staff privately calls him an "idiot," presidential aides plucked sensitive documents off his desk
12:29PM ( 36 minutes ago )
Gordon aims to hit Gulf Coast as hurricane after nightfall
Tropical Storm Gordon aims to hit Gulf Coast as a Category 1 hurricane after nightfall
12:27PM ( 39 minutes ago )
AP National News
Kerry Perry quits as president of scandal-hit USA Gymnastics
Kerry Perry quits as president of scandal-hit USA Gymnastics, which loses faith in her leadership
11:04AM ( 2 hours ago )
Gordon, moving fast, aims to hit Gulf Coast as hurricane
Tropical Storm Gordon is continuing to strengthen and is expected to become a hurricane late Tuesday when it hits the central U.S. Gulf Coast, including coastal Mississippi
10:26AM ( 2 hours ago )
Election security bill backers say delay helps Russia
Bipartisan legislation to try to prevent foreign hacking into U.S. election systems stalls in Congress
10:14AM ( 2 hours ago )
Top General short headlines
The Latest: Leahy: Kavanaugh view on exec power very broad
Democratic Senator Patrick Leahy of Vermont says that Brett Kavanaugh "may have intrigued" President Donald Trump because of his expansive view of "executive power and executive immunity."
11:58AM ( 1 hour ago )
The Latest: Feinstein questions Kavanaugh commitment to Roe
The top Democrat on the Senate Judiciary Committee says Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh fits the mold of the "anti-choice and pro-gun" nominee that President Donald Trump had promised to put forward
11:30AM ( 1 hour ago )
The Latest: Grassley rejects Democrats' bid to delay hearing
Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley has begun giving his opening statements at a hearing for Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh after being delayed for over an hour by Democrats
10:57AM ( 2 hours ago )
AP Online Headlines - Washington
Potential 2020 Democrats seize on Kavanaugh Senate hearings
Some Democratic senators weighing 2020 presidential campaigns have seized upon the opening moments of Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh's Senate confirmation hearings
12:53PM ( 14 minutes ago )
Chaos marks start of Kavanaugh confirmation hearing
Chaos marks start of Kavanaugh confirmation hearing; Democrats seek delay
12:51PM ( 16 minutes ago )
EPA watchdog faults agency for Pruitt's 24/7 security costs
The Environmental Protection Agency's internal watchdog is faulting the agency for spending millions of dollars on around-the-clock security for ex-administrator Scott Pruitt
12:48PM ( 19 minutes ago )
St. Louis apartment with kitchen-bathroom combo creates stir
A St. Louis man is the new tenant of a tiny apartment with a unique layout _ the kitchen and bathroom are in the same place
12:41PM ( 26 minutes ago )
Wives of convicted Myanmar reporters shocked by sentences
The wives of two Myanmar reporters for the Reuters news agency sentenced to seven years' imprisonment for possessing state secrets say they were shocked by the court's decision
12:35PM ( 31 minutes ago )