Excerpts released by The Washington Post revealed that US Defense Secretary Jim Mattis reportedly referred to US President Donald Trump as a "fifth or sixth-grader" when POTUS questioned the US' military presence on the Korean Peninsula. Mattis later disowned the statements attributed to him as the "product of a rich imagination." Other leaked portions of the book detail a moment when White House Chief of Staff John Kelly allegedly called Trump an "idiot" who has "gone off the rails."
White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said on Tuesday that the book's contents were "nothing more than fabricated stories." For added measure, Trump took to Twitter this week to tell his followers that Woodward's book was filled with "so many lies and phony sources."
Joe Lauria, Editor-in-Chief of Consortium News, told Radio Sputnik's Loud & Clear on Wednesday that Trump made a mistake when he decided to lash out about the book and when he failed to cooperate with Woodward on his work.
"The worst thing that Trump could've done here is to respond at all to this book," Lauria told hosts Brian Becker and John Kiriakou. "Woodward and his publishers knew he would, and they're starting to count the money right now."
"Woodward is really the essence of an establishment reporter. In the books on [former US President Barack] Obama and [former US President George W.] Bush that he wrote, [Woodward] had the cooperation of the administrations who were trying to shape the story he told," he said. "Trump did not do this."
According to Lauria, Trump should have made White House officials available to Woodward for on-the-record interviews in order to change the style in which Woodward would be writing the story. "That would've diffused his whole way of writing this book, which is really going to depend on secondhand information… this is secondhand gossip," he said.
However, since Trump reportedly shot down Woodward's requests for interviews on multiple occasions, Lauria told Kiriakou that the issue now is whether or not the veteran journalist's work is based on lies pushed by White House sources.
"You have to question why they're still working in the White House if they hate… Trump so much," Lauria said. "I would like to know from this book if it has any insight into who is controlling or manipulating or managing Trump… who's making the actual decisions on foreign and domestic policies."
Another of the revelations put forth by Woodward states that Gary Cohn, a former economic adviser for Trump, prevented the US from withdrawing from the North American Free Trade Agreement and a deal with South Korea by snatching documents from POTUS' desk.
On Wednesday, The New York Times published an opinion piece by an anonymous writer who claims to be a senior official within the Trump administration. In the article, the writer states that they're working on behalf of "The Resistance" to "frustrate parts of [Trump's] agenda and his worst inclinations."
"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 reads. "That is why many Trump appointees have vowed to do what we can to preserve our democratic institutions while thwarting Mr. Trump's more misguided impulses until he is out of office."
"The root of the problem is the president's amorality. Anyone who works with him knows he is not moored to any discernible first principles that guide his decision making," the article continues.
Although it's unclear who penned the op-ed, netizens speculated that US Vice President Mike Pence might be a contender based on the insertion of the word "lodestar" in the NYT op-ed, an uncommon term that has appeared before in Pence's speeches.
— Brian Krassenstein (@krassenstein) September 5, 2018
— Mindy Fischer Writer (@NastyMindy) September 5, 2018
— m i t h (@ManInTheHoody) September 5, 2018
— Duane (@DCMxyzptlk) September 5, 2018
In the hours since the op-ed was published, Trump has questioned the authenticity of the work, going as far as calling on the Times to turn over their contributor to the authorities for "national security purposes." He also asked bluntly: "TREASON?"