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Woodward says 'key' Trump official told him book is ‘1,000 percent correct’
Veteran journalist Bob Woodward said a "key" official in the Trump administration privately told him that the details in his books are "1,000 percent true," but later publicly defamed him.
Woodward was interviewed on The New York Time's podcast, "The Daily," on Tuesday - the day his book "Fear: Trump in the White House" was officially released.
Woodward told reporter Michael Schmidt that after excerpts of his book began circulating last week, someone working for the administration called him to praise the accuracy of his book.
"After the information in 'Fear' started breaking last week, one key person who's in office called and said 'Everyone knows what you said here is true. It's 1,000 percent correct,'" Woodward said. "And then this person has said some public things that contradict that."
Woodward declined to name the official and said he wasn't pleased with the official's public statement.
"And I'm not happy but I have a smile on face because the truth in all of this is going to emerge," Woodward said. "There's too much evidence, too many witnesses."
President Trump and White House aides have rushed to condemn the book and undermine Woodward's credibility in recent days.
Woodward has stood by his reporting despite the White House's response, saying on Sunday that Kelly and Mattis are "not telling the truth" in their denials.
White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders dismissed the book as "reckless" during Monday's press briefing.
"I think I would certainly rather take the actual on-record account from people who are here - who have been working in this building, who have interacted with the president day-in, day-out, like General Mattis, like General Kelly, like myself - and not disgruntled former employees that refuse to put their name on things when they come out to attack the president," Sanders said.
Woodward, who worked with reporter Carl Bernstein to break the news of the Nixon-era Watergate scandal, said the use of anonymous sources is necessary when covering presidential administrations.
He said The Washington Post reporting duo started using unnamed sources "because you can't get the truth, you won't get the straight story from someone if you do it on the record."
Woodward, however, said that he did not agree with the phrase "anonymous sources."
"Sources are not anonymous to me, I know exactly who they are," Woodward said on the podcast. "So I think it's - in a sense - the wrong phrase. They are deep-background or background sources."
He said he understands the "skepticism" around unnamed sources but added that it would be nearly impossible for reporters to get certain documents and testimony on the record.