President Trump continues attacks on explosive book, op-ed on his administration

Source:Xinhua Published: 2018/9/8 10:28:04

US President Donald Trump continued his attacks Friday on an explosive book that portrays his administration as a dysfunctional, chaotic "Crazytown" and an anonymous op-ed blasting his presidency.

The book, titled "Fear: Trump in the White House," was authored by US veteran investigative journalist Bob Woodward and is to be released next week, which has been under attack by Trump since its excerpts were made public earlier this week.

Speaking to reporters aboard the Air Force One, Trump called Woodward's book "a total fraud," a day after he said it "means nothing" and described it as "a work of fiction."

"I don't talk that way," said the president, adding that his aides who were quoted by Woodward, including White House chief of staff John Kelly and Defense Secretary, "totally disavow everything that they said in the book."

The book came as an anonymous op-ed in The New York Times by a senior Trump administration official who, as part of a so-called "resistance," has vowed to thwart parts of the president's agenda and "his worst inclinations," sparked another crisis for the White House.

The piece has also put Washington into a wild guessing game as to the identity of the author as top Trump administration officials lined up offering their denials.

Trump said Friday that US Attorney General Jeff Sessions "should be investigating who the author of that piece was because I really believe it's national security."

Besides the book and op-ed, the president also weighed in on the ongoing Russia probe, saying he would have an interview with special counsel Robert Mueller "but under certain circumstances."

Mueller is looking into alleged Russian meddling in the 2016 US presidential election and any potential collusion between the Trump campaign and Moscow, among other matters that may arise from the investigation.

George Papadopoulos, a former foreign policy advisor to the Trump campaign, was sentenced Friday to 14 days in prison for making false statements to the federal investigators about the timing and the possible significance of his Russia-related contacts in 2016.

Hours before the sentencing, Trump sought to distance himself from Papadopoulos, saying he doesn't know the former member of the foreign policy advisory panel to his campaign.

"I see Papadopoulos today, I don't know Papadopoulos, I don't know," Trump said. "I saw him sitting in one picture at a table with me. That's the only thing I know about him."

Papadopoulos was pictured in March 2016 sitting at a table with Trump, then-campaign adviser Jeff Sessions who later become US attorney general, and other foreign policy campaign advisers.

At that meeting, Papadopoulos reportedly proposed brokering a meeting between Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin, a claim that Sessions disputed when testifying to Congress.

Papadopoulos is also the second defendant to be sentenced as part of the Russia probe, after Dutch lawyer Alex van der Zwaan got 30 days behind bars for lying to federal investigators.

Mueller has so far publicly initiated criminal proceedings against more than 30 individuals, including several former Trump campaign aides.

Former Trump campaign chair Paul Manafort was recently found guilty of financial crimes committed prior to his time with the Trump team.

As the Russia probe continues with no immediate end in sight, Trump and his political allies have in recent months ratcheted up pressure on Mueller and his team.

Trump has repeatedly attacked the probe by calling it a "hoax" or "witch hunt," raising long-running speculation that he would force it to be shut down, a move that analysts say could trigger a political firestorm.

Posted in: AMERICAS

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