Entertainment

Woodward’s Book Sparks Controversy After Rumors of Tapes, Profane Insults of Trump, and More

Gens. John Kelly and Jim Mattis have disputed the claims within what president calls a work of 'total fiction'

Watergate star Bob Woodward’s new book, “Fear: Trump in the White House,” is supposed to be an inside look at the current administration.

The book paints a chaotic picture and provides behind-the-scenes stories of the president clashing with his military generals and other staff.

Woodward claims President Donald Trump chews out aides for incompetence or disloyalty — and that he berates his generals for not yet winning the war in Afghanistan.

The legendary journalist also details how staff secretary Rob Porter and Gary Cohn, senior economic adviser, objected strongly to the president’s tough stance on tariffs and trade.

The book is already being called fiction by the president and by others in the administration as well.

Defense Secretary James Mattis, whom the book claims Trump describes as having the understanding of a “fifth or sixth grader,” released a statement attacking the book’s accuracy.

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“The contemptuous words about the president attributed to me in Woodward’s book were never uttered by me or in my presence. While I generally enjoy reading fiction, this is a uniquely Washington brand of literature, and his anonymous sources do not lend credibility,” Mattis said.

The defense secretary continued by highlighting foreign-policy successes enjoyed by the current administration.

“While responsible policy making in the real world is inherently messy, it is also essential that we challenge every assumption to find the best option. I embrace such debate and the open competition of ideas,” he wrote.

“In just over a year, these robust discussions and deliberations have yielded significant results, including the near annihilation of the ISIS caliphate, unprecedented burden sharing by our NATO allies, the repatriation of U.S. service member remains from North Korea, and the improved readiness of our armed forces. Our defense policies have also enjoyed overwhelming bipartisan support in Congress.”

Mattis added that the book was the “product of someone’s rich imagination.”

Trump thanked Mattis for his statement on Twitter — and called the book “boring” and “untrue.”

General John Kelly, the White House chief of staff, also released a statement disputing claims in the book.

Trump thanked him as well for his comments:

President Trump has also expressed his own frustrations with the book.

“Isn’t it a shame that someone can write an article or book, totally make up stories and form a picture of a person that is literally the exact opposite of the fact, and get away with it without retribution or cost. Don’t know why Washington politicians don’t change libel laws?” he wrote on Wednesday.

Here’s his tweet on the matter:

He continued by saying the success of his presidency is enough to discount the book’s portrait of a messy White House.

“Almost everyone agrees that my administration has done more in less than two years than any other administration in the history of our country. I’m tough as hell on people & if I weren’t, nothing would get done. Also, I question everybody & everything — which is why I got elected!” he wrote.

For more on the claims in Woodward’s new book, check out the video below:

(photo credit, article image: Donald TrumpCC BY-SA 2.0, by Gage Skidmore / Robert Upshur “Bob” Woodward, CC BY-ND 2.0, by Hillel Steinberg)

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