We have been informed, twice now this week, that there are alleged "adults" in Donald Trump's White House who are supposedly acting as a hedge against the 45th president's worst impulses.And this, in some weird way, is both weirdly comforting and profoundly depressing.
For instance, he wrote that Chief Economic Adviser Gary Cohn and White House staff secretary Rob Porter, before their ousters from the administration, stole documents off Trump's desk in the Oval Office so he couldn't sign them. "The Vice President, that was my first thought", she added.
One of the most unsafe incidents involved Trump's obsession with the 28,000 troops the USA has stationed in South Korea, and the $3.5 billion a year the US pays to keep them there, Woodward explained, quoting Trump as saying: "I don't know why they're there".
Trump's calls for Attorney General Jeff Sessions to investigate the author of the Times article have renewed fears about the President's expansive view of executive power.
One top Trump aide, budget chief Mick Mulvaney, warned behind closed doors on Saturday that even GOP candidates such as Texas Sen.
Underscoring the aggressive response, Trump campaign manager Brad Parscale tweeted Wednesday that Woodward "got played", adding that "most of these stories are made up from low confidence under performing people that have fallen flat on their faces because they didn't have the talent or intelligence to be successful".
'If the GUTLESS anonymous person does indeed exist, the Times must, for National Security purposes, turn him/her over to government at once!'
As officials launched the fight back, Trump announced on Twitter he was "draining the Swamp" but "the Swamp is fighting back".
"I am proud to serve as a member of President Trump's Cabinet to advocate on behalf of America's 30 million small businesses".
Woodward's book is based on "deep background" interviews, which he defines in his book as interviews where "all the information could be used but I would not say who provided it". Ryan said he understands Trump's tweeting and "unconventional tactics" bother people, but the Wisconsin Republican said the president is producing "good results". The author said others inside the administration are also working to frustrate Trump's agenda in an effort to protect Americans.
The White House can rage against Woodward's book all it wants. "Most are working to insulate their operations from his whims".
He called the opinion piece "sad".
Vice President Mike Pence told CBS News" "Face the Nation' that Woodward's book "shows a complete misunderstanding of how this White House works".
"The individual behind this piece has chosen to deceive, rather than support, the duly elected president of the United States". In an interview Thursday with Fox News, Trump said, "What they've done is virtually, you know, it's treason, you could call it a lot of things". She then veered off to start speaking about Trump winning the 2016 election and his policy wins. None of them voted for a "gutless, anonymous source to the failing New York Times", she said.
The decision was in the purview of James Bennet, editorial page editor, and James Dao, op-ed editor, with publisher AG Sulzberger weighing in, a Times spokeswoman said.
He accused the media of trying to undermine the Trump administration, and said he found that "incredibly disturbing".
"But no one wanted to precipitate a constitutional crisis".
One source close to the White House said people inside the administration are "frustrated because they know it's true".
The president's former lead personal attorney, John Dowd, is quoted in graphic language referring to Trump as a "liar" who will end up wearing an "orange jump suit" if he gives testimony to special counsel Robert Muller, who is looking into ties between the 2016 Trump election campaign and Russian Federation.