First Reports from Woodward's Trump Book Are Damning

The Latest: Kelly says he didn't call Trump an idiot

In his new book Fear, Woodward, who based the book on hundreds of hours of interviews with officials and principals in the Trump administration, paints a damning portrait of a White House in utter disarray under a president who has "gone off the rails".

A senior official inside Donald Trump's White House has written an astonishing account of how staff try to act as a brake on the president's impulsive behaviour, and how he tried to limit sanctions on Russian Federation after the Salisbury poisoning.

She said the administration was "disappointed, but not surprised" that The Times "chose to publish this pathetic, reckless, and selfish op-ed".

The nameless internal Trump critic bashes the president's "amorality, ' and claims he has no 'first principles that guide his decision making" and no affinity for typical Republican ideals.

"It may be cold comfort in this chaotic era, but Americans should know that there are adults in the room", the author wrote. We fully recognize what is happening.

Trump and members of his staff had already spent much of the day trying to discredit Woodward's book when the Times op-ed, sending the administration into damage control once more.

However, the official said, "these successes have come despite - not because of - the president's leadership style, which is impetuous, adversarial, petty and ineffective".

Trump lashed out at the author and at the "dishonest" Times. It's one of the reasons Trump has struggled so badly to adjust to the presidency.

Trump spoke with Woodward over the phone on August 14 and expressed regret over not getting to speak to him for the book.

This too, fits with what ABC reports that an early exceprt of Bob Woodward's book said some of these officials told the journalist, saying he has the understanding of a fifth- or sixth-grader, calling him an idiot, and describing efforts to explain to him why his impulses could cause a war. The op-ed author claimed to be a person who supported some of the president's policies but was concerned with his temperament.

President Trump is facing a test to his presidency unlike any faced by a modern USA leader, claimed the writer, who The New York Times, in a tweet, identified as a he.

One might have to look back to the Ronald Reagan or even Calvin Coolidge administration to find stories that parallel the extent to which this essay writer declares President Trump incompetent for the office.

Ari Fleischer, who served as press secretary under President George W. Bush, said it was "impossible to evaluate how important it is without knowing how high up the author is".

It was not immediately clear what, if any, steps were being taken by the White House to attempt to unmask the writer.

The text of the op-ed was pulled apart for clues: The writer is identified as an "administration official"; does that mean a person who works outside the White House?

The newspaper describes the author of the unsigned column only as "a senior official in the Trump administration". White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders said on Fox News she hasn't spoken with Mr. Trump about filing any libel lawsuit. The piece, titled, "I Am Part of the Resistance Inside the Trump Administration", details the "quiet resistance within the administration of people choosing to put country first".

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