Bob Woodward’s “Fear” claims brutal criticism of Trump by his own aides

WASHINGTON (AP) – House Speaker Paul Ryan is declining to comment on disparaging comments about President Donald Trump in Bob Woodward’s new book, saying he’s not seen it.

The book contains quotes attributed to top White House aides that ridicule Trump’s intellect. Asked by reporters about those remarks Wednesday, Ryan said he has nothing to say and referred questions to the White House.

The Wisconsin Republican drew laughs when he said he’s not spoken to Woodward for a few years. The criticisms of Trump that the longtime Washington Post journalist quotes in his book are based on interviews with sources he doesn’t identify.

Ryan also said “no” when asked if he favors changing the nation’s libel laws. Trump says Woodward’s descriptions are false and tweeted Wednesday that lawmakers should “change libel laws.”

President Donald Trump says he is “the exact opposite” of Bob Woodward’s portrayal of him in a new book.

Trump took to Twitter on Wednesday to complain about the book, “Fear: Trump in the White House,” which portrays White House Chief of State John Kelly disparaging Trump as an “idiot.” The book says presidential aides snatched sensitive documents off his desk to keep him from making impulsive decisions.

The White House says the portrayal of Trump is false, and blamed disgruntled former employees.

On Wednesday, Trump tweeted, “Isn’t it a shame that someone can write an article or book, totally make up stories and form a picture of a person that is literally the exact opposite of the fact, and get away with it without retribution or cost.”

He added, “Don’t know why Washington politicians don’t change libel laws?”

White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders said on Fox News she hasn’t spoken with Trump about filing any libel lawsuit.

President Donald Trump and members of his administration are disputing quotations and anecdotes attributed to them in a new book by journalist Bob Woodward in which the president is disparaged as an “idiot” and his White House as “Crazytown.”

In his book “Fear: Trump in the White House,” Woodward writes that that senior aides to Trump snatched sensitive documents off his desk to keep him from making impulsive decisions. Trump tells The Daily Caller that didn’t happen.

Defense Secretary Jim Mattis is quoted in the book as telling associates that Trump acted like and has the understanding of “a fifth or sixth-grader.” Chief of staff John Kelly is quoted as calling Trump “an idiot” and lamenting, “We’re in Crazytown.” Both officials denied those accounts in statements Tuesday.

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