Woodward book says Trump aide privately called him ‘idiot’

Posted September 05, 2018

While he does not name his sources, Woodward says he spoke with many people now or formerly working for Trump as he conducted research for "Fear", discussing not just the president's personality but also major policy debates regarding North Korea and Afghanistan. Woodward's account relies on deep background conversations with sources, meaning their identities are not disclosed. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said he acted like "a fifth- or sixth-grader", while current Chief of Staff John Kelly called him "an idiot". She told reporters at United Nations headquarters that she had been privy to conversations about the Syrian chemical weapons attacks, "and I have not once ever heard the president talk about assassinating Assad".

Kelly denied the claims and said: "The idea I ever called the president an idiot is not true".

The book also describes Trump's disdain for Attorney General Jeff Sessions. "He's this dumb southerner", Trump said, according to the book. "Let's go in. Let's kill the f***ing lot of them", Trump said, according to Woodward.

The book says Trump's former lawyer in the Russia probe, John Dowd, doubted the president's ability to avoid perjuring himself should he be interviewed in special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into Russian election interference and potential coordination with Trump's campaign.

Not strictly national security, but certainly indicative of a national emergency: Trump's lawyer told him, "Don't testify".

According to Woodward, when Trump finally condemned them, he nearly immediately told aides: "That was the biggest fucking mistake I've made" and the "worst speech I've ever given".

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But it doesn't stop at the walls of the West Wing, which is why I want to focus on what Trump said about Sessions.

"Evidently talking about Donald Trump for two years has made my mouth old", the Late Show host said of his noticeably white beard and non-white hair.

U.S. President Donald Trump wanted to assassinate Syrian President Bashar Assad after the April 2017 chemical attack on Idlib, journalist Bob Woodward writes in his upcoming book.

"I'll just take the paper off his desk", Cohn told another White House aide, according to the book.

"Today, story after story released [from Woodward's book] - denied by the White House", the Lou Dobbs Tonight host said tonight.

"Let's fucking kill him!" "I'm in the process of making some of the greatest trade deals ever to be made", Trump boasted, according to a transcript of the August 14 interview with Woodward released by the Post. You know I'm very open to you.

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'He's an idiot. It is pointless to try and convince him of anything. Trump insisted that he had never heard from anyone about it-even as he admits that he did hear from Graham, but that it was only "quickly in one meeting".

"The Woodward book has already been refuted and discredited by General (Secretary of Defense) James Mattis and General (Chief of Staff) John Kelly", Trump tweeted. Cohn later reportedly told an associate that Trump never noticed the first letter went missing. "Further, I did not refer to the President as a "liar" and did not say that he was likely to end up in an 'orange jump suit'".

During a meeting last July, Trump's national security advisers attempted to "educate" the president on foreign policy.

"I wouldn't let him see it".

"It's just another bad book".

Woodward also describes an administration where members of staff simply ignore Trump's more extreme orders.

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