Former White House aide Rob Porter hits Woodward book as 'selective,' 'misleading'

Former White House aide Rob Porter hits Woodward book as 'selective,' 'misleading'
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Former White House staff secretary Rob Porter on Tuesday pushed back against claims attributed to him in Bob Woodward's new book, calling the work "selective and often misleading."

In a statement to Axios, Porter disputed that documents were "stolen" off of Trump's desk, as described in one passage in Woodward's book "Fear: Trump in the White House." In the incident described in the book, former economic adviser Gary CohnGary David CohnChristie: Trump doesn’t give nicknames to people he respects On The Money: Congress pivots to prevent another shutdown | Trump hits Venezuelan oil company with sanctions | US criminal charges filed against Huawei | Next round of China trade talks set | Forecasts raise doubt on Trump’s economic goals Gary Cohn joked about sending Trump to help Brexit talks: report MORE snatched a document without Trump knowing that would have withdrawn the U.S. from a trade agreement with South Korea.


"The suggestion that materials were 'stolen' from the President’s desk to prevent his signature misunderstands how the White House document review process works — and has worked for at least the last eight administrations," said Porter, who handled the flow of paperwork in the West Wing.

Porter, who resigned from the White House in February following allegations of domestic abuse by his ex-wives, is featured prominently in Woodward's book.

The ex-staff secretary did not refute any specific quotes attributed to him, but instead suggested Woodward mischaracterized disagreements among staffers as an effort to "thwart" the president's agenda, a term also used by the anonymous senior administration official in last week's bombshell New York Times op-ed.

"President TrumpDonald John TrumpAverage tax refunds down double-digits, IRS data shows White House warns Maduro as Venezuela orders partial closure of border with Colombia Trump administration directs 1,000 more troops to Mexican border MORE invites robust discussion and asks probing questions," Porter said in his statement. "He has the confidence to allow advisors to disagree with a proposed course of action and advocate for an alternative outcome—and I sometimes did just that."

"During my time in the White House, I sought to serve the President’s best interests and to help enable his many successes—successes that Mr. Woodward’s book ignores," Porter added. 

Porter is the latest current or former White House official to refute Woodward's book, which went on sale on Tuesday. His statement came hours after Cohn, who is also featured prominently in the book, said the work did not "accurately portray" his time in the administration.

Woodward has continued to stand by his reporting for the book, despite growing criticism from the White House and President Trump.

The book includes multiple specific allegations of high-ranking staff members questioning the president’s competence and circumventing some of his decisions, as well as Trump reportedly bad-mouthing top aides.