>> Something that's very special for our->> A new tell-all book paints a damning picture of a dysfunctional White House, where top officials steal memos from President Trump's own desk in a bid to avoid disaster. I'm Andy Sullivan in Washington, where the Trump administration is bracing for yet another bombshell insider account of life inside the White House.
This one from famed Watergate journalist Bob Woodward, who writes that aides routinely ignored Trump's orders and blocked his access to documents, in what he describes as an administrative coup d'etat. The book is titled Fear, Trump in the White House, and it's drawn from anonymous accounts from administration insiders.
The Washington Post got an advance copy. They reported that Trump ordered Defense Secretary Jim Mattis to assassinate Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad after the April 2017 chemical attacks. Mattis, instead, ordering up limited airstrikes that didn't threaten Assad personally. The book also recounting how top economic adviser Gary Cohn swiped a memo from Trump's desk that would have ended a trade agreement with South Korea.
Trump aides insulting the president behind his back. Mattis reportedly saying he had the, quote, understanding of a fifth or sixth grader. And Chief of Staff John Kelly reportedly telling aides, quote, he's an idiot. It's pointless to try to convince him of anything. We're in crazy town. Adding, quote, this is the worst job I've ever had.
Woodward's account shows Trump consumed by anger and paranoia over the continuing investigation into his campaign's ties to Russia and lashing out at top aides. Trump calling Attorney General Jeff Sessions, whom he blames for the Russia probe, quote, mentally retarded and a, quote, dumb Southerner. Woodward writes that Trump's former lawyer John Dowd conducted a mock interview to prove to Trump that he would commit perjury if he agreed to talk to Special Counsel Robert Mueller.
Dowd told him afterward, quote, don't testify. It's either that, or an orange jumpsuit. Dowd denies the exchange took place. White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders called the book a collection of fabricated stories by disgruntled former employees designed to make the President look bad. This book is certain to create more discomfort for those who are still working in the administration, as they try to focus on top priorities like crafting new trade deals and getting Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanagh through the Senate.
It's one more distraction that they don't need.