The book claims that after Syrian President Bashar al-Assad ordered chemical weapons to be used against civilians in April of previous year, Trump called Mattis and said he wanted to assassinate Assad.
Given President Trump's subsequent efforts to discredit Woodward and his reporting, some critics found an amusing irony in the release of a recorded phone call between Woodward and Trump that had taken place about a month earlier, in which the president told the reporter that "I would've loved to have spoken to you [for the book] ..."
The newspaper, which has been repeatedly attacked by President Trump, said it knew the identity of the "senior official" but withheld the name to protect the person's job.
Woodward's 448-page book, "Fear: Trump in the White House", offers a devastating portrait of a dysfunctional Trump White House, detailing how senior aides - both current and former Trump administration officials - grew exasperated with the President and increasingly anxious about his erratic behavior, ignorance and penchant for lying. "We're going to be much more measured".
He has written books about every American president since Richard Nixon, whose resignation was triggered by his reporting of Watergate.
Mattis called the book "fiction" and Sanders denounced the tome in a statement as "nothing more than fabricated stories, many by former disgruntled employees" without disputing any of the specifics that have been reported in excerpts.
Imran Khan reiterates his commitment: Here’s what he says
He vowed that his government would cancel all agreements made against the interest of the country. He also directed them that a permanent mechanism be evolved to streamline the entire process.
Mattis said in a statement, "The contemptuous words about the President attributed to me in Woodward's book were never uttered by me or in my presence".
The result was that they could only start pushing back hours after the story first broke, releasing a slew of statements from figures quoted indirectly by the book. As a former reality show star, he's involved in decisions about who is dispatched to defend the White House on television, what they're supposed to say, and general strategy for fighting negative broadcast stories.
By Wednesday afternoon, White House reporters noted a slight change in the tone of official statements, implicitly accepting some internal strife.
"The already discredited Woodward book, so many lies and phony sources, has me calling Jeff Sessions "mentally retarded" and 'a dumb southerner, ' " Trump tweeted. "I slept like a rock", the president said.
The book follows the January release of author Michael Wolff's "Fire and Fury", which led to a rift between Trump and Steve Bannon, his former chief strategist. That does not mean necessarily that they aren't interested in whether Trump's chief of staff called his boss a liar or not or whether an economic advisor swiped a document from Trump's desk. "This thing's a goddamn hoax", Trump said, according to Woodward, adding that, "I don't really want to testify".
"I guess the president, he says what he thinks", Shelby said in The Post. I heard they're talking about how the media is very unfair to you, and showing copies of the electoral map.