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

President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump passes Pence a dangerous buck Overnight Health Care — Presented by American Health Care Association — Trump taps Pence to lead coronavirus response | Trump accuses Pelosi of trying to create panic | CDC confirms case of 'unknown' origin | Schumer wants .5 billion in emergency funds Trump nods at reputation as germaphobe during coronavirus briefing: 'I try to bail out as much as possible' after sneezes 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."

ADVERTISEMENT

“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 CohnBannon says Trump now understands how to use presidential power: 'The pearl-clutchers better get used to it' Sunday shows - All eyes on Senate impeachment trial Gary Cohn says Trump's tariffs 'hurt the US' 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 SessionsDo people think ill of Jeff Sessions merely based on the sound of his voice? Appeals court rules Trump administration can withhold grants from 'sanctuary cities' GOP casts Sanders as 2020 boogeyman MORE “mentally retarded;” wanted to assassinate Syrian President Bashar Assad; and that Defense Secretary James MattisJames Norman MattisFed chief issues stark warning to Congress on deficits Why US democracy support matters Hillicon Valley: DOJ indicts four Chinese military officers over Equifax hack | Amazon seeks Trump deposition in 'war cloud' lawsuit | Inside Trump's budget | Republican proposes FTC overhaul 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.