Friday, 16 November, 2018

Trump vents over leaks as Woodward pushes back on criticism

Official White House'resistance working against Trump                         Read more Official White House'resistance working against Trump Read more
Glenn Montgomery | 11 September, 2018, 05:12

"Does the president not think that that op-ed is protected by the First Amendment?"

Woodward's account was reinforced by an anonymous op-ed by a senior administration official published last week in The New York Times that described staffers working to stave off Trump's destructive instincts.

"Frankly, it's sad and pathetic that a gutless anonymous source could receive so much attention from the media", she said.

Sanders denied the White House is conducting its own investigation to uncover the source behind the article.

But Woodward says in his book there was an even more unsafe tweet that wasn't sent, declaring that Trump was withdrawing the family members of USA troops from South Korea.

Sanders refused to comment on whether President Trump plans to file a libel lawsuit against Woodward. Woodward notes a September 2017 incident, for instance, in which Trump economic advisor Gary Cohn withdrew papers from the president's desk which would keep him from withdrawing from KORUS, a key trade agreement with South Korea.

During Today's exclusive interview with Woodward, the Watergate journalist called Trump "detached" from reality and a threat to national security.

"I think it's less about that part of it and whether somebody is actively trying to undermine the executive branch of the government and a duly elected president of the United States", she said.

At a White House press briefing, Sanders slammed the book "Fear", from veteran journalist Bob Woodward, as "careless and reckless".

Said Woodward, "Some of the things that Trump did and does jeopardizes the real national security".

Woodward's book is based on "deep background" interviews, which he defines in his book as interviews where "all the information could be used but I would not say who provided it". Many have already come forward to say the quotes by them, like the book, are fiction.

Defence Secretary James Mattis left a meeting with Trump about that request "exasperated and alarmed", and told people in the President's inner circle that he had "acted like - and had the understanding of - 'a fifth- or sixth-grader, '" according to Woodward.

The Quinnipiac University poll, which was released Monday, showed that only 32 percent of respondents answered "yes" to the question, "Would you say that Donald Trump is honest, or not?", the lowest since November 2016, and down from 38 percent in July.

In an interview with CBS News, Woodward said he took cues from his earlier days, investigating President Richard Nixon and the Watergate scandal, to cultivate sources and learn what was happening inside the Trump White House for his new book titled "Fear".

"They are not telling the truth".

He argued that the person purposely put the piece in the Times to anger him, and he has continued to focus on identifying and firing the author, even as some advisers have urged him to let the matter go, said a person familiar with the president's thinking but not authorized to discuss private conversations. He said "these are political statements to protect their jobs".

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