US President Donald Trump says he did not discuss the assassination of Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad, disputing an account in an upcoming book by journalist Bob Woodward.
Trump, speaking with reporters during a visit with Kuwaiti ruler Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmad al-Jaber al-Sabah, said a possible killing "was never discussed."
"That was never even contemplated, nor would it be contemplated," said Trump, and described Woodward's book as "fiction."
Trump wanted to assassinate Assad last year, but Defense Secretary James Mattis ignored the request, according to the book "Fear: Trump in the White House."
Excerpts were published by the Washington Post on Tuesday.
Trump also said that if there is a massacre in the Idlib province of Syria, the United States will be very angry.
The Syrian army bombed Idlib, the last bastion of the active rebellion against al-Assad, on Wednesday as a war monitor said insurgents blew up a bridge in anticipation of a government offensive.
"That can not be a killing," Trump said of Idlib.
"If it is a massacre, the world will get very, very angry and the United States will also get very angry."