Trump administration in damage control after anonymous op-ed

Trump Wanted Assad Assassinated But Mattis Ignored Him Says Book Quoting Top Aides

Trump said the book, written by USA veteran investigative journalist Bob Woodward, "means nothing" and called it "a work of fiction" during a photo op with visiting Kuwaiti Emir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah at the White House.

Just the day before the op-ed hit the Internet, previews of "Fear", Woodward's new book about the Trump White House, examined much the same dynamic as the op-ed.

We also learned that Gary Cohn, one of President Trump's advisors, lifted a letter off Trump's desk so that the president wouldn't act on his worrisome threat to scuttle a trade deal with South Korea.

Both releases are said to have infuriated Trump, who unleashed a string of attacks on Woodward's credibility and dismissed the celebrated author's book as a "work of fiction". Woodward said that he interviewed more than 100 people, including one person nine times.

Woodward continued, "He jeopardizes things in the economy by doing things that experts - '99.9% of the people say don't do tariffs". When I worked in Washington during the Bill Clinton years, senior members of the administration would talk anonymously with him out of their own sense of fear - fear that their views, their spin, their contribution to the Clinton presidency would not be valued properly and that some rival would get his or her message across more effectively.

The host then pointed out that Wolff's and Woodward's books are entirely different and need to responded in a different manner because the latter has written more than half a dozen books on the past presidencies.

In another part of the book, Mattis allegedly said that Trump had the understanding of a "fifth- or sixth-grader" of the situation on the Korean peninsula.

The New York Times piece did not reveal any classified information or breaches of national security and it is unclear what grounds the administration can take - if any - in regards to a lawsuit or official investigation by the Justice Department.

Japan: Two killed after 6.7-magnitude natural disaster hits Hokkaido island, triggers landslides
The disaster killed some 19,000 people , as well as knocked out power to and swamped backup generators at the Fukushima facility. A doctor in Abira, the town next to Atsuma said: "Without electricity, there's nothing I can do except to write prescriptions".

Scores of senior figures within the Trump administration, including Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Defence Secretary James Mattis, Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats and CIA Director Gina Haspel have all come forward to deny they wrote the editorial.

"They are not telling the truth", Woodward said. He said "these are political statements to protect their jobs".

Asked by NBC why readers should trust his account using anonymous sources, Woodward said, "The incidents are not anonymous".

The president is displeased with White House Deputy Chief of Staff Bill Shine in particular because Trump thinks he wasn't able to push back the claims made in the expose.

In one of the scenes described in the book, soon after taking office, Trump asked the Pentagon for a plan to launch a preventive military strike against North Korea, while criticising the high cost of protecting South Korea. Democrats can't stand losing. Trump tweeted Monday prior to the Woodward interview.

"As you know, from having read my book, the dates and times and participants".

The author said he tried but contends he was either stonewalled by Trump's inner circle or simply ignored. "It's very important whether this is somebody who witnessed and participated", Woodward said.

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