White House Attacks Bob Woodward's Bombshell Book About Trump Disarray

"This book is nothing more than fabricated stories, many by former disgruntled employees, told to make the president look bad," press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said.

The White House has a history of trashing non-fiction books that are critical of the Trump administration, and veteran journalist Bob Woodward's forthcoming title, Fear: Trump in the White House, is no different.

The Washington Post, which employs Woodward as an associate editor, on Tuesday published an article laying out some of the most newsworthy passages, claims and quotes in the book. "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," according to the report. 

A few hours after publication, the White House distributed statements to the press attacking the book. 

"This book is nothing more than fabricated stories, many by former disgruntled employees, told to make the president look bad," White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said.

She continued: "While it is not always pretty, and rare that the press actually covers it, President Trump has broken through the bureaucratic process to deliver unprecedented successes for the American people. Sometimes it is unconventional, but he always gets results. Democrats and their allies in the media understand the president’s policies are working and with success like this, no one can beat him in 2020 — not even close.”

The White House also sent along a statement from White House Chief of Staff Gen. John Kelly, who was quoted trashing the president and calling him names in the book. "The idea I ever called the president an idiot is not true," he said in part.

Later in the day, Trump tweeted out a statement from James Mattis, in which Mattis states that "the contemptuous words about the President attributed to me in Woodward's book were never uttered by me or in my presence." According to reports, Woodward writes in his book that Mattis had compared Trump's intellect to that of a "a fifth- or sixth-grader." Mattis went on to liken Woodward's book to "fiction" and a "uniquely Washington brand of literature." 

Trump continued tweeting about the book on Tuesday night and early Wednesday morning, sharing articles from The Daily Caller and Breitbart in which Mattis is quoted as denying what's in the book, and claiming the book is a "con on the public."

On Tuesday, the Post also published an audio recording of an 11-minute-long phone call between Woodward and the president. During the call, Trump said repeatedly that he didn't know Woodward wanted to interview him for the book, an interview that didn't happen in time for publication.

"I’m just hearing about it. ... So we’re going to have a very inaccurate book, and that’s too bad," Trump said in the call. "But I don’t blame you entirely."

On Aug. 10, four days before Omarosa Manigault-Newman's book Unhinged was published, the White House put out a statement from Sanders attacking it as "riddled with lies and false accusations," while in early January, the White House and Sanders repeatedly attacked Michael Wolff's book, Fire & Fury. Newman's book topped the New York Times best-seller list, and Wolff's book was a runaway commercial success.