The Rats Are Fleeing the Sinking Ship-and Talking to Bob Woodward

The Rats Are Fleeing the Sinking Ship-and Talking to Bob Woodward

These are some of the explosive excerpts being reproduced in the American media from a new book titled "Fear" by acclaimed investigative journalist Bob Woodward of Watergate fame that professes to describe the "nervous breakdown" of the Trump Presidency in "crazytown" Washington DC.

White House Chief of Staff John Kelly, who spends more time with the president than any other official, thinks the president is "unhinged", according to Woodward, who writes that in one small group meeting, Kelly said, "He's an idiot".

The book says presidential aides snatched sensitive documents off his desk to keep him from making impulsive decisions.

Mattis is said to have told Trump that he would get on the matter but ignored the president's request - and instead put forth very limited options for conventional airstrikes.

Trump did not speak to Woodward until after the book's manuscript was completed. I'm tough as hell on people & if I weren't, nothing would get done.

Woodward says administration officials were also concerned when the president asked for plans for a pre-emptive military strike on North Korea during the height of his feud with Kim Jong-un.

An image of Syria's President Bashar Al Assad is seen on a car's windscreen in the Shiite town of Hermel June 5, 2013.

"I'll just take the paper off his desk", Mr Cohn told another White House aide, according to the book. Trump groused as those around him tried to clarify the goal of the war in Afghanistan.

The day after, a gleeful Trump called Dowd. Documents that would have allowed the president to withdraw the nation from the North American Free Trade Agreement and a trade deal with South Korea were hidden - and the USA has since committed to renegotiating the pacts.

Subjects and critics of Woodward's books over the years have complained about his zealous approach to narrative reconstructions and some of the details in his reporting, while largely failing to undermine the broader thrusts of a body of work built upon heaps of in-depth, recorded interviews and ample documentation.

The book quotes United States defence secretary Jim Mattis as calling Trump a fifth-grader.

"This guy is mentally retarded", Mr Trump said of Mr Sessions, according to the book.

Woodward also reports the president's former attorney, John Dowd, felt Mr. Trump would commit perjury if interviewed by the special counsel. I said NEITHER, never used those terms on anyone, including Jeff, and being a southerner is a GREAT thing. "He made this up to divide!", Mr Trump said in the Tweet.

He also retweeted denials from his chief of staff, Gen John Kelly, who reportedly called him an idiot, while lamenting, "It's pointless to try to convince him of anything".

In Trump's eyes, what makes or breaks aides who are reported to have made disparaging comments about him is how strongly they push back on the accusations.

U.S. Ambassador Nikki Haley denied Tuesday that Trump had ever planned to assassinate Assad. If that's the case, Woodward's book could cause serious damage within the White House in the coming days.

In his previous books, which have been rolled out with as much anticipation as this one, Woodward has typically delivered some startling revelations that not only intrigued but also changed the conversation in Washington.

Attorney General-designate, Sen. Jeff Sessions of Alabama cheers on the crowd during a President-elect Donald Trump's rally at the Ladd-Peebles Stadium, in Mobile, Alabama, December 17, 2016.

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