The Latest: McConnell sidesteps Woodward book questions
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on President Donald Trump and journalist Bob Woodward’s book (all times local):
The top Senate Republican is sidestepping questions about President Donald Trump raised by Bob Woodward’s latest book.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is also joining his House counterpart, Speaker Paul Ryan, in saying he wasn’t among the sources the Washington Post journalist used for his book, “Fear: Trump in the White House.”
McConnell was asked Wednesday about the book’s reporting that Trump called Attorney General Jeff Sessions, a former Alabama senator, “mentally retarded” and a “dumb Southerner.” The book relies on comments described by sources Woodward doesn’t name.
The Kentucky Republican said he’s not spoken to Woodward since he was writing his 2010 book about then-President Barack Obama. McConnell says he won’t discuss “observations by these apparent sources” Woodward used about Trump.
McConnell also says he has total confidence in Sessions and hopes he continues serving as attorney general.
President Donald Trump is labeling a tell-all book from journalist Bob Woodward a “work of fiction.”
Trump spoke to reporters in the Oval Office Wednesday. He also suggested that excerpts from the explosive book were timed to interfere with confirmation hearings for Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh.
The White House has pushed back vigorously against “Fear: Trump in the White House,” which features current and former aides calling the president an “idiot” and a “liar.”
The book from the Washington Post author is out Sept. 11. Excerpts were published in a number of outlets, starting with the Post, on Tuesday.
House Speaker Paul Ryan is declining to comment on disparaging comments about President Donald Trump in Bob Woodward’s new book, saying he’s not seen it.
The book contains quotes attributed to top White House aides that ridicule Trump’s intellect. Asked by reporters about those remarks Wednesday, Ryan said he has nothing to say and referred questions to the White House.
The Wisconsin Republican drew laughs when he said he’s not spoken to Woodward for a few years. The criticisms of Trump that the longtime Washington Post journalist quotes in his book are based on interviews with sources he doesn’t identify.
Ryan also said “no” when asked if he favors changing the nation’s libel laws. Trump says Woodward’s descriptions are false and tweeted Wednesday that lawmakers should “change libel laws.”
President Donald Trump says he is “the exact opposite” of Bob Woodward’s portrayal of him in a new book.
Trump took to Twitter on Wednesday to complain about the book, “Fear: Trump in the White House,” which portrays White House Chief of State John Kelly disparaging Trump as an “idiot.” The book says presidential aides snatched sensitive documents off his desk to keep him from making impulsive decisions.
The White House says the portrayal of Trump is false, and blamed disgruntled former employees.
On Wednesday, Trump tweeted, “Isn’t it a shame that someone can write an article or book, totally make up stories and form a picture of a person that is literally the exact opposite of the fact, and get away with it without retribution or cost.”
He added, “Don’t know why Washington politicians don’t change libel laws?”
White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders said on Fox News she hasn’t spoken with Trump about filing any libel lawsuit.
President Donald Trump and members of his administration are disputing quotations and anecdotes attributed to them in a new book by journalist Bob Woodward in which the president is disparaged as an “idiot” and his White House as “Crazytown.”
In his book “Fear: Trump in the White House,” Woodward writes that that senior aides to Trump snatched sensitive documents off his desk to keep him from making impulsive decisions. Trump tells The Daily Caller that didn’t happen.
Defense Secretary Jim Mattis is quoted in the book as telling associates that Trump acted like and has the understanding of “a fifth or sixth-grader.” Chief of staff John Kelly is quoted as calling Trump “an idiot” and lamenting, “We’re in Crazytown.” Both officials denied those accounts in statements Tuesday.