Nolte: Disgraced Journalist Carl Bernstein Calls On Gen. Kelly to Resign

Sheila Mcguire
September 6, 2018

President Donald Trump on Tuesday evening amped up his attacks on veteran journalist Bob Woodward, baselessly suggesting he is a Democratic operative because his new book portrays chaos and dysfunction inside the White House.

"The Woodward book has already been refuted and discredited by General (Secretary of Defense) James Mattis and General (Chief of Staff) John Kelly", the president tweeted.

According to The Post, Woodward's book alleges that Mattis told associates of President Trump that the president had the understanding of "a fifth- or sixth-grader". No one coming to terms with the Trump presidency has any reason to be surprised by what they're seeing, including the people who've made a decision to work for him - which, of course, begs the question: Why did all these folks who've spoken to Woodward decide to work in the Trump White House to begin with?

After Mattis hung up the phone, he told one of his aides, "We're not going to do any of that".

"I spend more time with the President than anyone else, and we have an incredibly candid and strong relationship", he said.

And among its pages include accounts of Trump mocking Sessions and his accent; Trump's mocking of former National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster and his penchant for dressing "like a beer salesman"; and Trump mocking former Chief of Staff Reince Priebus as "a little rat", according to excerpts published by The Washington Post and The Hill.

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Woodward's detailed account, while not the first unflattering portrayal of Trump's turbulent presidency, carries special resonance in part because of the author's central role in exposing the Watergate crimes that led to the resignation of former president Richard Nixon in 1974.

The White House also denied that the president's former economic advisor, Gary Cohn, "stole a letter off Trump's desk" to prevent him from nixing a trade deal with South Korea and that he "made a similar play" to keep Trump from leaving NAFTA.

"The contemptuous words about the President attributed to me in Woodward's book were never uttered by me or in my presence", Mattis wrote.

"Sekulow's answer was classic Trump - an answer spun out of thin air, with contradictions, made-up stuff, anger", Woodward wrote.

Dowd said he would not address every "inaccurate statement" attributed to him but did deny that he had called Trump a liar or that he would end up in an orange jumpsuit.

Speaking to reporters at the White House, Sanders said the book did not accurately depict the administration, adding that it had been "pretty widely pushed back on". If past practice is any guide, Woodward taped many of those interviews, says Dr. Greenberg, who was an assistant to the journalist for three years in the early 1990s.

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The administration found in Woodward's book is one racked with anxiety over the president's erratic behaviors, where everyone is a potential target of Trump's belittlement. "But never once - never - did I think Woodward made it up". I'll never be a staffer.

"It's really too bad, because nobody told me about it", said the president.

In the conversation, Mr Trump initially claims he would have been open to an interview but knew nothing about Mr Woodward's requests.

Woodward claimed in his book that Kelly called the president an idiot and added in frustration, "It's pointless to try to convince him of anything".

Trump said Wednesday that such a demand was "never discussed" and accused Woodward of writing false and "scandalous" things about other presidents, including George W. Bush and Barack Obama.

President Donald Trump speaks with Attorney General Jeff Sessions on the West Lawn of the US Capitol in Washington, May 15, 2017.

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