WASHINGTON — The White House is dismissing an upcoming book from veteran journalist Bob Woodward, with White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders claiming that details in it were made up by individuals with an agenda.
“This book is nothing more than fabricated stories, many by former disgruntled employees, told to make the president look bad,” Sanders said Tuesday.
The accounts documented by Woodward, who along with Carl Bernstein broke the Watergate story that ultimately topped President Richard Nixon, highlight the unease members of Trump’s team have with the president.
White House Chief of Staff John Kelly reportedly describes Trump as an “idiot” who has “gone off the rails.”
“We’re in Crazytown. I don’t even know why any of us are here. This is the worst job I’ve ever had,” Kelly reportedly told colleagues.
Defense Secretary James Mattis appeared to share a similar view, telling personnel that the president “had the understanding of — ‘a fifth- or sixth-grader.’ ”
In turn, Trump appeared to take snipes at those in his administration as well, describing Attorney General Jeff Sessions as “mentally retarded” and saying that former National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster wore cheap suits like a “beer salesman.”
Other anecdotes include senior members of Trump’s staff attempting to counteract the president’s trade agenda by simply stealing papers off his desk or agreeing to an extreme demand from the president only to pursue a different strategy immediately after.
In terms of the Mueller investigation, Trump’s personal attorney John Dowd appears to have butted heads with the president over whether or not he should meet with the Special Counsel.
A faux-practice testimony proved to be a disaster.
“Don’t testify,” Dowd told the president. “It’s either that or an orange jumpsuit.”
In a taped phone conversation shared by the Washington Post, Trump told Woodward that he wanted to speak with him for the book, but that the author’s repeated requests for an interview never reached his office.
Countering the book, Sanders acknowledged Tuesday that Trump’s approach to the presidency is sometimes “unconventional,” but argued that he has been particularly effective.
“While it is not always pretty, and rare that the press actually covers it, President Trump has broken through the bureaucratic process to deliver unprecedented successes for the American people,” Sanders said. “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.”