Woodward book prompts West Wing witch hunt, sources say

Joann Johnston
September 11, 2018

Instead, Sanders said just the notion the unidentified official may be involved in national security matters was grounds enough to launch a probe.

Woodward, famously part of the duo of reporters who unearthed the Watergate scandal for The Washington Post during the Nixon administration, said he interviewed almost 100 people for Fear: Trump in the White House, slated for release on September 11.

"You could write a novel about this", said Jamieson, author of the upcoming "Cyberwar: How Russian Hackers and Trolls Helped Elect a President".

Woodward repeatedly requested an interview with Trump for the book, but did not succeed.

In his book Fear, which comes out Tuesday, Woodward describes Trump behaving erratically and impulsively, even on significant issues of national security, and insulting some of his senior officials.

"But we believe our first duty is to this country, and the president continues to act in a manner that is detrimental to the health of our republic", the piece states.

The author praises their efforts as "heroic" as they attempt to "keep bad decisions contained to the West Wing" and thwart Trump's "erratic behavior".

Trump decried the quotes and stories in the book on Twitter as "frauds, a con on the public", adding that Defense Secretary Jim Mattis and chief of staff John Kelly had denied uttering quoted criticisms of the president in the book.

"You can, in an nearly microscopic way, establish what occurred - and that's what I've done in this book".

Paul Light, a New York University professor and expert on the federal bureaucracy, said about 50 people could have legitimately written the column - probably someone in a political position appointed by President Donald Trump.

White House press secretary Sarah Sanders refused to back down from that idea on Monday, despite the fact that there's no indication any laws were broken.

Carlson said he reached out to the White House for comment on the piece and will not accuse anyone of being the author until such information is confirmed.

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Woodward describes Trump regularly insulting key members of his own team, who are in turn contemptuous of the president.

Woodward quotes an exasperated Chief of Staff John Kelly doubting Trump's mental faculties, declaring during one meeting, "We're in Crazytown".

Trump insisted he "never used those terms on anyone, including Jeff", adding that "being a southerner is a GREAT thing". She said the writer should resign from the administration.

Allies said some of the ire in Trump's orbit was focused on former staffers such as ex-staff secretary Rob Porter and onetime economic adviser Gary Cohn, who are sympathetically portrayed.

The president concluded that the statements refuted Woodward's book, and noted the "timing" of the release, though it was unclear what he meant by that.

"I am not author of the anonymous NY Times op-ed", Linda tweeted.

"We have somebody in what I call the failing New York Times that is talking about, he is part of the resistance in the administration".

And in April 2017, after Syria's Bashar al-Assad attacked civilians with chemical weapons, Woodward reports, Trump demanded Mattis assassinate Assad.

Fear is the 19th book by Bob Woodward, the iconic Washington Post reporter who uncovered the Watergate scandal with Carl Bernstein.

The fresh uproar at the White House and questions about Trump's leadership style and personality could not come at a worse time for Republicans, with less than two months to go before midterm elections in which Democrats hope to cripple his presidency by winning the House of Representatives.

Brit Hume of Fox News summed up the state of knowledge about Woodward's book after the statements dropped.

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