Trump: Bob Woodward is an 'idiot,' his book 'fiction'

Trump: Bob Woodward is an 'idiot,' his book 'fiction'
© ABC News

President TrumpDonald TrumpRealClearPolitics reporter says Freedom Caucus shows how much GOP changed under Trump Jake Ellzey defeats Trump-backed candidate in Texas House runoff DOJ declines to back Mo Brooks's defense against Swalwell's Capitol riot lawsuit MORE slammed veteran journalist Bob Woodward and the release of this upcoming book, "Fear: Trump in the White House," on Friday during a campaign event in Fargo, N.D.

Speaking to supporters, the president lashed out at the Watergate reporter over quotes in the book that Trump claimed were false, and called the entire book a work of "fiction."

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"By the way this idiot Woodward who wrote this book which is all fiction said that I said something like that, but he put it in a very crude manner," Trump said, apparently referring to Woodward's report that the president had insulted Attorney General Jeff SessionsJefferson (Jeff) Beauregard SessionsWant to evaluate Donald Trump's judgment? Listen to Donald Trump Democrat stalls Biden's border nominee Garland strikes down Trump-era immigration court rule, empowering judges to pause cases MORE, calling him "retarded."

"The concept is true, but the way it was said was very, you know — hey, I went, like, to the best college ... I mean, you read this thing, the quotes were wrong, all these — John KellyJohn Francis KellyMORE, Gen. [James] Mattis, they're all writing 'I never said that, I never said that,' " Trump added, referring to denials from top staffers of passages in the book detailing their low opinion of the president's understanding of foreign affairs.

The president's remarks in North Dakota are his latest in a string of condemnations aimed at Woodward's book from both Trump himself and the White House, which has characterized "Fear" as a work of fiction spun by disgruntled ex-employees.

“This book is nothing more than fabricated stories, many by former disgruntled employees, told to make the President look bad," White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said in a statement Tuesday.

"Sometimes it is unconventional, but he always gets results," Sanders added. "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.”

Publication of the book's excerpts have caused a whirlwind of damaging news stories for the administration, including reports that former economic adviser 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 documents from Trump's desk without the president's knowledge with the goal of preventing Trump from exiting trade deals with Canada, Mexico and South Korea.