Bob Woodward: Trump Spooked Pentagon with Almost-Sent Tweet on NKorea

Leroy Wright
September 10, 2018

There is fierce speculation over who is responsible - with the U.S. vice-president among those to deny any involvement.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo spoke on the issue during his visit to India. The piece says the president is morally rudderless, holds no coherent worldview and careens from objective to objective.

CNN reports that the investigation moved swiftly, motivated by Trump's "obsession" with finding out which one of his "senior officials" authored an NYT op-ed claiming that a small cabal of staffers within the West Wing are quietly working to moderate Trump's agenda and keep the president zeroed in on conservative policy, rather than a list of populist grievances.

Others quickly followed suit to distance themselves from the Times op-ed, which claims there is an effort by a group of conservative administration insiders who are working against Trump. That's a rich criticism coming from an administration that, like its predecessors, routinely holds briefings and phone calls with reporters that require the reporters not to identify the administration officials involved by name. "I would know. I am one of them".

Trump supporters seized on the article as proof of the existence of a "deep state" opposition to the president within his administration.

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

During the same meeting Trump reportedly asked C Boyden Gray, former USA ambassador to the EU: "Which is going to be the next country to drop out [of the EU after Brexit]?"

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"What's unfair, I don't mind when they write a book and they make lies because it gets discredited", he told Pete Hegseth, adding that it's challenging "when somebody writes and you can't discredit because you have no idea who they are". "If the GUTLESS anonymous person does indeed exist, the Times must, for National Security purposes, turn him/her over to government at once!" "So if some in the White House think that correcting this behind the scenes is a consolation, I don't think it's good enough". "This coward should do the right thing and resign". Defense Secretary Jim Mattis reportedly told associates that Mr. Trump had the behavior and the understanding of "a fifth- or sixth-grader".

The op-ed came in the same week that details of journalist Bob Woodward's new book, "Fear: Trump in the White House", dropped across multiple news organizations.

Bob Woodward sounded an alarm in his first TV interview to promote "Fear", his explosive book about Donald Trump's presidency. But after hanging up the phone, he told his senior aide: 'We're not going to do any of that.

Perhaps as striking as the essay was the recognition of the long list of administration officials who plausibly could have been its author.

"He or she has enflamed the paranoia of the president and empowered the president's wilfulness".

In the early days of the administration, the president and some of his aides repeatedly pressed then-FBI Director James Comey and other law enforcement officials to investigate not just leaks of classified information but also disclosures of unclassified, nonsensitive information, according to people familiar with the discussions.

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