In Woodwards book, White House staffers call Trump unhinged & an idiot

Bob Woodward and Donald Trump

White House Chief of Staff John Kelly refers to Trump as an idiot and Defense Secretary James Mattis is quoted as saying that Trump has the understanding and comprehension of a fifth or sixth grader.

For example, according to the reports, former White House economic adviser Gary Cohn stole a letter off Trump's desk to keep him from formally withdrawing from the USA trade deal with South Korea.

Mattis told Trump he would proceed with such a plan, but immediately told an aide, after getting off the phone with the president that, "We're not going to do any of that". We already knew, after a year-and-a-half of chronic leaks in Trump's Washington, that many in his circle didn't think highly of him and that he returned the favor.

"If you look back at Woodward's past, he had the same problem with other presidents". After all, his investigations with Washington Post colleague Carl Bernstein helped bring down Richard Nixon and he has written books on many leaders, including George W Bush and Barack Obama. Woodward told him that he made the request to at least a half-dozen people close to the president, and that it was never granted.

Woodward describes "an administrative coup d'etat" and a "nervous breakdown" of the executive branch, with senior aides conspiring to pluck official papers from the president's desk so he couldn't see or sign them.

Trump, moreover, never stopped belittling his subordinates, according to Woodward.

"I'll just take the paper off his desk", Cohn, who has since quit the White House, said to his staffers. Trump has frequently threatened legal action against others he says have wronged him without following through.

THE RESPONSE: "That's false", Trump told The Daily Caller.




The United States remains part of both trade agreements as it negotiates new terms.

The book, which has not yet been released, depicts top Trump aides sometimes sidestepping instructions to limit what they see as his damaging and unsafe behavior.

"I'm the only thing protecting the president from the press", Woodward quoted Kelly as saying in a meeting. Trump describes Attorney General Jeff Sessions as "mentally retarded", former National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster as dressing "like a beer salesman", and former White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus as "a little rat" who "just scurries around". Tuesday evening, the president denied that account, adding that Woodward "made this up to divide!"

- In the book, Woodward confirms NBC News reporting from April that Chief of Staff John Kelly had called Trump an "idiot" and thought of himself as someone who was personally helping to save the US from disaster.

CNN reports that Trump has now ordered his aides to figure out who might have been responsible for these leaks.

Lots of chatter about Bob Woodward's new book from the chattering class today, most of which focuses on President Donald Trump's reported harsh management style.

Woodward's 448-page book, "Fear: Trump in the White House", offers a devastating portrait of a dysfunctional Trump White House, detailing how senior aides - both current and former Trump administration officials - grew exasperated with the President and increasingly anxious about his erratic behavior, ignorance and penchant for lying.

When White House economic adviser Cohn tried to resign after the president offered sympathetic comments about white nationalists who engaged in a violent August 2017 rally in Charlottesville, Mr Trump accused him of "treason".

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