Trump: Woodward has had 'a lot of credibility problems'

President TrumpDonald John TrumpO'Rourke: Trump driving global, U.S. economy into recession Manchin: Trump has 'golden opportunity' on gun reforms Objections to Trump's new immigration rule wildly exaggerated MORE slammed Bob Woodward after excerpts were released of the Watergate reporter's latest book detailing the inner workings of the Trump White House. 

“It’s just another bad book. He’s had a lot of credibility problems," Trump told The Daily Caller in an interview in the Oval Office. "I probably would have preferred to speak to him, but maybe not. I think it probably wouldn’t have made a difference in the book. He wanted to write the book a certain way."

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“It’s just nasty stuff. I never spoke to him. Maybe I wasn’t given messages that he called. I probably would have spoken to him if he’d called, if he’d gotten through. For some reason I didn’t get messages on it,” he added.

Trump denied specific allegations and said the stories could have come from disgruntled employees or were perhaps “made up by the author.”

One such allegation contained in the book was that chief of staff John KellyJohn Francis KellyMORE called the president an “idiot" — an assertion Kelly himself denied on Tuesday.

“The idea I ever called the President an idiot is not true,” Kelly said in a statement released after the excerpts were published. “This is another pathetic attempt to smear people close to President Trump and distract from the administration’s many successes.”

The president also addressed an allegation that former National Economic Council Director Gary CohnGary David CohnTrump says US will hit China with new round of tariffs next month Gary Cohn bemoans 'dramatic impact' of Trump tariffs Press: Acosta, latest to walk the plank MORE removed papers from his desk to prevent him from withdrawing from a trade deal with South Korea, saying "there was nobody taking anything from me.”

Woodward also reports in his book that Trump called Attorney General Jeff SessionsJefferson (Jeff) Beauregard SessionsDOJ should take action against China's Twitter propaganda Lewandowski says he's 'happy' to testify before House panel The Hill's Morning Report — Trump and the new Israel-'squad' controversy MORE “mentally retarded;” wanted to assassinate Syrian President Bashar Assad; and that Defense Secretary James MattisJames Norman MattisOnly Donald Trump has a policy for Afghanistan New Pentagon report blames Trump troop withdrawal for ISIS surge in Iraq and Syria Mattis returns to board of General Dynamics MORE said Trump acted like a “fifth- or sixth-grader” when discussing the Korean Peninsula.

The president's comments to The Daily Caller were published not long after White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders released her own statement regarding Woodward's book.

“This book is nothing more than fabricated stories, many by former disgruntled employees, told to make the President look bad. 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.

The Washington Post released an audio recording of a conversation between Trump and Woodward regarding the book in which the president said Woodward had always been fair.