Ex-Trump aides push back against ‘Fear’
A new White House tell-all from journalist Bob Woodward, the election season’s most-talked-about political book, officially went on sale Tuesday as several former aides of President Donald Trump sought to distance themselves from the depiction of a chaotic West Wing.
Former White House staff secretary Rob Porter and onetime economic adviser Gary Cohn both pushed back against “Fear,” which portrays a White House mired in dysfunction, with aides disparaging the Republican president and working to prevent him from making disastrous decisions.
While neither former staffer directly denied details in the book, Porter said in a statement that the book offers a “selective and often misleading portrait.” And Cohn told Axios that the “book does not accurately portray my experience at the White House.”
Speaking to reporters in the White House on Tuesday, Trump praised his former aides’ supportive statements and again labeled the book “fiction.”
Woodward, a longtime Washington Post reporter, has staunchly defended his work during an extensive media tour.
The book reached stores Tuesday and has been No. 1 on Amazon since details first began emerging a week ago. Publisher Simon & Schuster has announced that 1 million copies will be printed.
Among the revelations in the book: Cohn once removed a document from the president’s desk that would have ended a trade deal with South Korea.
Porter said that suggesting materials from Trump’s desk were “stolen” to prevent the president from taking action “misunderstands how the White House document review process works.” Porter, who exited the White House after allegations of domestic violence became public, says he was tasked with ensuring that “pros and cons were evaluated” on policy proposals and other decisions. He said that doesn’t make a person “part of a ‘resistance.’”