President TrumpDonald TrumpTrump takes shot at new GOP candidate in Ohio over Cleveland nickname GOP political operatives indicted over illegal campaign contribution from Russian national in 2016 On The Money — Dems dare GOP to vote for shutdown, default 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."
“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.”
“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 CohnOn The Money: Wall Street zeros in on Georgia runoffs | Seven states sue regulator over 'true lender' rule on interest rates | 2021 deficit on track to reach .3 trillion Former Trump economic aide Gary Cohn joins IBM The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by the UAE Embassy in Washington, DC - Trump OKs transition; Biden taps Treasury, State experience 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 SessionsOvernight Hillicon Valley — Apple issues security update against spyware vulnerability Stanford professors ask DOJ to stop looking for Chinese spies at universities in US Overnight Energy & Environment — Democrats detail clean electricity program MORE “mentally retarded;” wanted to assassinate Syrian President Bashar Assad; and that Defense Secretary James MattisJames Norman Mattis20 years after 9/11, we've logged successes but the fight continues Defense & National Security — The mental scars of Afghanistan House panel advances 8B defense bill 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.