President Trump has denied that his old friend and former economic chief counsel, Gary Cohn, has stolen a letter from his desk instead of helping him close a business deal, even though the document was published in Bob Woodward's book .
"He never took a note from my desk," the president told DailyMail.com aboard Air Force One, his lips pursed and his eyes pinched in an unusually aggressive manner.
In his book "Fear," Woodward writes that Cohn stole the one-page document from the Oval office because he would have informed the South Korean government that Trump was going to rescind the Free Trade Agreement between the United States and Korea, known as KORUS.
Woodward's book includes a copy of the letter, a draft that the president never signed.
Trump, traveling from Montana to North Dakota, said flatly that he did not believe in the story.
"I would have fired him in two seconds! They would have fired him so fast," he said.
Trump has denied that Gary Cohn has stolen a document from the Oval Office to prevent the end of the US-Korea Free Trade Agreement.
The letter in question was printed in Bob Woodward's new book, Fear. The reporter said that Cohn took the unsigned memo to prevent him from withdrawing from the deal
Trump said he did not believe in the story and that he would have "fired him in two seconds" if that were true. He also said that "I would never talk to him again" if
That fake story about Gary Cohn! Trump then rebounded, returning to an issue that a White House official said Thursday had been his most consistent and noisy complaint about the book. Cohn's episode is told in a six-page prologue.
On Friday, the president was furious at the idea that the book he had labeled as "fiction" had stained Cohn, a perennial but decidedly non-conservative Trump initiate he still trusts and talks to regularly.
& # 39; If I did that, I would never talk to him again! & # 39;
"I would never talk to him again," the president repeated, and suddenly he looked away with a calmer thought.
Cohn is a staunch supporter of free trade, and became irritated during his tenure at the White House, with Trump's preference to collect import duties as a form of negotiating leverage.
At the time, Trump was furious over Washington's $ 18 billion annual trade deficit with Seoul, and had refused to spend $ 3.5 billion each year to maintain a military presence on the Korean peninsula that keeps Korea at bay. from North.
Woodward writes that & # 39; Cohn was horrified & # 39; at the thought of overthrowing KORUS and I could not believe that President Trump would risk losing vital intelligence assets crucial to US national security, a benefit of the close working relationship of the two countries
Woodward quotes Cohn telling a friend: "I stole it from your desk. I would not let him see it. He will never see that document. I have to protect the country.
KORUS temporarily slipped out of Trump's radar, according to Woodward, and forgot everything.
But the president insisted that he never derailed from restarting and saving KORUS.
Bob Woodward got a copy of the amazing note that President Trump wrote on the sidelines of a speech he was about to pronounce: & # 39; TRADE IS BAD & # 39;
"I completed the deal after Gary Cohn left," he told DailyMail.com. & # 39; Is complete. We are probably going to sign it [during] Week of the United Nations in a couple of weeks.
"I did it not because of Gary Cohn," he said.
"I did it because of me."
Woodward also obtained a copy of the surprising note that President Trump wrote on the margin of a speech he was about to pronounce: "TRADE IS BAD."
The president never spoke the words, but Woodward says that the phrase is the "truest expression" of Trump's "protectionism, isolationism and fervent American nationalism".
Trump planned to make the claim during a speech in which Woodward says he was working on his way to the United States from the G20 summit in 2017.
It is not clear in the book why he never did, unlike the formal notification to South Korea that Trump was unilaterally ending his commercial deal, which is said to have kept Cohn and former staff secretary Rob Porter away from the president .
The unsigned letter to South Korea and Trump's note on trade, in what appears to be his handwriting, are included in Woodward's book in a staggering violation of White House security.
Woodward uses the documents to reinforce the narrative that the attendees engaged in an elaborate campaign described in the book to sometimes protect Trump's information, and on other occasions prevent the president from doing things that his advisors considered disastrous.
Cohn has been silent since Bob Woodward named him in an exception to his new book as someone who tried to thwart the president from within. The White House ignored a request for comments on Thursday on the most recent revelations.
Woodward's book, which officially arrives on the shelves on Tuesday, September 11, includes a draft of a note that withdraws the United States from its trade agreement with South Korea that the president never signed.
That's because Cohn stole it & # 39; from the president's desk, writes Woodward.
It is said that Cohn boasted to a colleague: "I stole it from your desk … I would not let you see it". He will never see that document. I have to protect the country.
Trump told a media outlet this week right after the release of the version, except that no one took anything from his desk.
"That is false," Trump said of the document deletion fragment. & # 39; It's just done & # 39; He said flatly to The Daily Caller: "Nobody took me anything."
However, a copy of the book obtained by DailyMail.com includes a scan of the letter. And the White House did not immediately qualify it as a false document.
The documents indicated that the current trade agreement was not "the best for the economy of the United States."
The letter provides a notice of the president's desire to "rescind the contract" in 180 days, the amount of notice required. He committed himself in the letter to negotiate a new trade agreement with the close and security ally of the United States.
It contained lines for greetings from Trump and the commercial representative Robert Lighthizer, but it was not signed.
White House press secretary Sarah Sanders did not respond to a request for comments by email on the document dated September 5, 2017.
The date of the letter indicates that it was drafted just before Trump and South Korean President Moon Jae-in met for bilateral talks at the United Nations. At the summit, the president also called the North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un & # 39; Little Rocket Man & # 39 ;, an escalation of tension between South Korea and its autocratic neighbor.
Porter told an associate, according to Woodward's book, that there were multiple iterations of the letter, because Trump did not stop coming back to the subject.
"I'm tired of these arguments!" Trump said in a meeting. & # 39; I do not want to hear more about that. We will leave KORUS.
Trump disliked his commercial deal with Korea, a key ally of the United States, at a White House meeting.
Trump ordered his son-in-law Jared Kushner to write the order. The book describes a scene where Kushner took dictation. Porter found out what Kushner was doing, and then said, "Send me the eraser." If we are going to do this, we can not do it on the back of a napkin. We have to write it in a way that does not embarrass us. "
They prepared a draft, but it was described as part of a "subterfuge" tactic. After a formal meeting on the subject and after a debate, Trump requested changes.
"Well, let's keep working on the letter," said Trump. & # 39; I want to see the next draft & # 39;
Cohn and Porter did not follow up. The problem disappeared for a time.
Porter and Cohn are described as ignorant of Trump's orders to submit additional drafts, while the former economic adviser to the president tied at the head of the Pentagon James Mattis.
"We are hesitant," Cohn told Mattis. "We may need a backup this time."
Mattis, for his part, told Trump: "Kim Jong Un poses the most immediate threat to our national security. We need South Korea as an ally. It may not seem that the trade is related to all this, but it is fundamental. "
Trump finally saw things in the manner of his assistants and did not crush the trade agreement.
Woodward calls it part of a generalized "administrative coup", with Cohen recalling that "a third of my work was trying to react to some of the really dangerous ideas I had and trying to give them reasons to believe that maybe they were not so good ideas & # 39;
Cohn, the former head of Goldman Sachs, is also quoted in the book he says in private: "It's not what we did for the country. It's what we saved him from doing. "
Porter, who resigned amid accusations of spousal abuse that he denied, is issued as part of the effort to avert catastrophes in the making.
Once Trump compares him to characters like Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch, the book states that Porter lost respect for the president after he punished his first chief of staff, Reince Priebus, as a "rat" in his office. presence.
Porter, whose pedigree includes Harvard Law and is a Rhodes Scholar, described the efforts to handle Trump by working the tempo beyond slipping the documents.
– But walking slowly or not taking things seriously, or telling you, right away, not just as an excuse, but this must be examined, or we have to do more processes about it, or we do not have a legal firm of lawyers: that happened 10 times more frequently than taking papers from his desk. It felt like we were walking on the edge of the cliff perpetually, "he said.
In another passage, Cohn tells Porter that he does not know how much longer he could stay in the White House, "because here things are crazy." They are so chaotic. He will never change.
& # 39; There is no point in preparing a substantial and meaningful briefing for the president who is organized, where you have a lot of slides. Because you know he will never listen. We're never going to get over it, "says Cohn, and underlying claims that appear elsewhere in the book that Trump has the mental ability of a fifth or sixth grade.
Cohn had not commented on anecdotes from quotes that included him in the book as of Thursday afternoon, unlike other current and former Trump administration officials, suggesting that the letter and the story about him snatching her from Trump's desk were genuine. .
The globalist, whose worldview clashed with the left of the president, the White House earlier this year. Despite his encounters with Trump, the president maintained that they had a good relationship until the end. He even suggested that Cohn might one day return to a higher level position, such as the cabinet secretary or the chief of staff.
All of that was in doubt this week, since Woodward's book was dripping, dripping, dripping. Trump angered on Twitter, and in his comments, about the journalist and disgruntled former employees who provided him with the juicy material.
Trump's spokeswoman had said that Woodward's book, which included damaging characterizations of the White House as a "crazy city" and the president as "deranged," could not be true when asked at the White House on Wednesday.
"I do not think I can have the kind of success we have had in this White House under this president if that book were a true reflection of what is happening," he told reporters after ruining the book in two morning programs. .
Sanders denied that Donald Trump's current aides believe he is an imbecile, since the president appears in excerpts from the book that emerged when the White House focused on another fight, that of getting Brett Kavanaugh on the court.
She said a series of matching stories in bombs that have humiliated the White House are works of "fiction" from anonymous sources with axes against the president.
Sarah Sanders said in a new refutation of Bob Woodward's book on Wednesday that a damaging characterization of the White House as a "crazy city" and the president as "deranged" can not be true.
Sanders avoided calling Woodward's liar, avoiding a trap set by the president in an interview when he suggested the "invented" anecdotes of the respected journalist in his book based on hundreds of hours of recorded interviews.
The president in a Wednesday tweet encouraged Congress to take a fresh look at defamation laws as he desperately sought ways to get even.
Sanders did not take the bait and told a journalist who asked him if the book met current standards: "I think we have to see the rest of the book."
"We have seen some excerpts that have been widely rejected by some of the most respected people in our country," Sanders said. & # 39; We'll see what happens. & # 39;
Sanders in & # 39; GMA & # 39; He said the book is based on the claims of anonymous sources and disgruntled former employees. "This is just another repetition of pure fiction."
"I do not think there are so many current employees who are painting that image," he told reporters gathered later.
After the interview, he told reporters that Woodward's sources were sharing the same rehearsed stories they had shared with other authors who wrote shocking books about the acting president.
"Certainly, the fact that they are still counted does not make them truer," he said of the pattern of demeaning comments. "I think it's a ridiculous accusation."
She said that the fact that "the same people keep writing the same kind of books" about Trump does not prove anything.
Trump criticized Woodward's book as a "fraud" and labeled it a "Dem operative" after the famous Watergate journalist wrote that John Kelly called the president "idiot" and James Mattis compared it to a "fifth grade".
The president said in a tweet on Tuesday evening: "Woodward's book has already been refuted and discredited by General (Secretary of Defense) James Mattis and General (Chief of Staff) John Kelly. a scam in the public, in the same way other stories and quotes, Woodward is an operative Dem, did you notice the time?
Mattis and Kelly rejected claims that they had questioned Trump's intellect.
Donald Trump tweeted Tuesday to accuse the famous Watergate journalist Bob Woodward of making quotes and information in his new book, Fear: Trump in the White House.
Trump (left) dismissed the quotations from "invented frauds" by James Mattis and John Kelly, who deeply criticized Trump. Woodward is represented on the right
Woodward said Kelly criticized Trump as "an idiot". and said: & # 39; There is no point in trying to convince him of anything. It has left the tracks.
Apparently, the White House chief of staff said, "We're in Crazytown, I do not even know why any of us are here, this is the worst job I've ever had."
Kelly denied making the statements in a statement issued by the White House.
"The idea that I once called the president is not true, in fact it's the exact opposite," he said. "This is a pathetic attempt to defame people close to President Trump and distract him from his many successes."
In another episode, it is said that Trump questioned the usefulness of the US early warning systems. UU In Alaska to identify a nuclear attack by North Korea.
It is said that Mattis instructed him. "We are doing this to avoid World War III," he said.
It is said that the Pentagon chief told colleagues after the incident that Trump had the mental capacity of "a fifth or sixth grader."
On Tuesday he denied the version, saying in a statement of his own: "The disdainful words about the president that are attributed to me in Woodward's book were never uttered by me or in my presence.
"Although I generally enjoy reading fiction, this is a unique brand of Washington literature, and its anonymous sources do not give it credibility."
A Pentagon spokesman, Colonel Rob Manning, said Mattis was never interviewed by Woodward.
– Sir. Woodward never discussed or verified the alleged quotes included in his book with Secretary Mattis or anyone in the Department of Defense, Manning said.
Previous accounts during Trump's first year had former Secretary of State Rex Tillerson calling Trump "idiot" and Tillerson did not deny it explicitly. This means that three of Trump's oldest advisers have ridiculed his mental capacity.
Woodward also reported that, after Syrian Bashar Assad launched a chemical weapons attack on civilians in April 2017, Trump called Mattis and told him that he wanted the Syrian leader to be removed, saying: "Kill him! Let's go in. & # 39;
Mattis assured Trump that he would understand, but then told an assistant they would not do anything like that, Woodward wrote. Instead, the national security advisers developed options for the air strike that Trump finally ordered.
US Ambassador Nikki Haley denied on Tuesday that Trump had planned to assassinate Assad. She told reporters at UN headquarters that she had had access to talks about the Syrian chemical weapons attacks, and "not once did I hear the president talk about assassinating Assad."
She said that people should take what is written in the books about the president with a grain of salt.
Trump also tweeted official statements by Kelly and Mattis as part of a barrage of messages on Tuesday night
Highlights: the hottest quotes in Bob Woodward's book
WHAT THEY SAID ABOUT TRUMP:
JOHN KELLY, HEAD OF STAFF: & # 39; It's an idiot. There is no point in trying to convince him of anything. He has left the tracks. We are in Crazytown. I do not even know why any of us are here. This is the worst job I have ever had. "
JAMES MATTIS, SECRETARY OF DEFENSE: # 5 or 6th grade & # 39;
REX TILLERSON, OLD SECRETARY OF STATE: & # 39; It's an idiot f *** & # 39;
JOHN DOWN, OLD PERSONAL ATTORNEY: & # 39; F *** ing liar & # 39;
JOHN DOWD ABOUT HOW THE TRANSCRIPTION OF A MUELLER INTERVIEW WOULD BE DESCRIBED BY FOREIGN LEADERS: I told you I was an idiot. I told you it was a damn dumbbell. What are we dealing with this idiot for?
GARY COHN, OLD CHIEF ECONOMIC ADVISER: & # 39; A professional liar & # 39;
ROB PORTER, OLD SECRETARY OF PERSONNEL WHO LEFT WHEN BOTH EX-WIVES CHARGED ABUSE: "One third of my work was trying to react to some of the really dangerous ideas I had and try to give them reasons to believe that maybe they were not those good ideas. & # 39;
WHAT THEY SAID ONE TO THE OTHER:
STEVE BANNON TO IVANKA TRUMP: "You're just a good member of staff! You walk through this place and act like you're in charge, and you're not, you're on staff!
IVANKA TRUMP FOR STEVE BANNON: & # 39; I'm not an employee! I will never be a staff member. I am the first daughter and I will never be employed!
JOHN KELLY TO GARY COHN: "If that were me, I would have taken that letter of resignation and put it in its ** six different moments."
DOWD TO ROBERT MUELLER: He just invented something. That is his nature & # 39;
WHAT THROMPER SAID ABOUT THEM:
BARACK OBAMA: Weak d ** k & # 39;
RUDY GIULIANI, PERSONAL ATTORNEY: Rudy, you're a baby. I have never seen a worse defense of me in my life. They took out your diaper right there. You are like a little baby that needed to be changed. When are you going to be a man?
WILBUR ROSS, SECRETARY OF COMMERCE: I do not trust you. I do not want you to do more negotiations. You have spent your best time & # 39;
H.R McMASTER, ANCIENT NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISOR: "Dresses like a beer seller."
REINCE PRIEBUS, ANCIENT HEAD OF STAFF: Like a little rat. He just runs around.
AFTER THE EGYPTIAN PRESIDENT FATAH AL-SISSI ASKED IF HE'S GOING TO BE AROUND: "Like a kick in the nuts."
BASHAR AL-ASSAD, SIRIO DICTATOR: Let's kill him! Let's go inside We are going to kill many of them.
Trump was a fan of Bob Woodward, but now the president says he could be a liar
The White House press secretary, Sarah Sanders, dismissed the work of the famous journalist as & # 39; & # 39; nothing more than invented stories & # 39; & # 39;
Trump suggested to the Daily Caller that the "disgruntled employees" might have made the embarrassing claims in the book or that they might have been falsified by Woodward in its entirety.
Excerpts from the new book by veteran Watergate reporter Bob Woodard unleashed explosions across the political world
"It could be invented by the author," Trump said of the journalist who once defended on Twitter against the slights imposed on him by the Obama administration.
The damaging statement about the widely respected journalist caused the White House press secretary of former President George W. Bush, Ari Fleisher, to shake his head.
"I've been on the receiving end of a Bob Woodward book, there were quotes on it that I did not like, but never, never, never thought that Woodward invented it," Fleisher said. – Anonymous sources have weaker lips and can take liberties. But Woodward always plays is straight. Someone told him. "
Trump's press secretary pointed to a statement that said: "This book is nothing more than fabricated stories, many old disgruntled employees who are told to make the president look bad."
In the response to Woodward's book, Sanders argued that "sometimes" Trump's approach to the office is "unconventional," but "always gets results."
"The Democrats and their allies in the media understand that the president's policies work and that with a success like this, nobody can beat it in 2020, not even close."
The book follows the release in January of Michael Wolff's book "Fire and Fury," which led to a dispute between Trump and Bannon, his chief strategist, who spoke with Wolff in terms that were very critical of the president and his family. Wolff's book attracted attention with his vivid anecdotes, but he suffered numerous factual inaccuracies.
Woodward's work also occurs weeks after the former assistant White House and competitor & # 39; Apprentice & # 39; Omarosa Manigault Newman published an exhibition about her time in the west wing, including audio recordings of her dismissal by Kelly and a follow-up conversation with the president in which she claimed to have been unaware of Kelly's decision.
While White House aides have become increasingly insensitive to the new scandals, the latest book still increased tensions in the west wing, especially given the shared intimate details and the number of people Woodward seemed to have interviewed.
Some White House officials expressed surprise at the number of former Trump loyalists willing to offer embarrassing stories about the president and his inner circle.
The White House aides coordinated Tuesday with other officials cited in the book to dispute problematic passages. But experts speculated that the consequences could be worse than "Fire and Fury," given Woodward's reputation.
Woodward's book was already ranked as the best-selling book on Amazon this week.