Following reports on excerpts of famed reporter Bob Woodward’s new White House exposé, President Donald Trump is pointing his vexation at White House counselor Kellyanne Conway and former National Economic Council Director Gary Cohn, Vanity Fair reported.
The President blames his communications shop, but mostly Conway, for failing to set up an interview with Woodward before the manuscript was finalized. In a transcript of a phone call between Trump and Woodward, which the Washington Post published this week, Woodward tells the President that he asked several individuals close to him to help arrange the dialogue, including Conway.
Yet the two never met and the book is largely reliant on anonymous sources, who paint the White House as deeply dysfunctional and a place in which even the President’s closest aides call him an “idiot” and a “fucking liar.”
While chief of staff John Kelly and Secretary of Defense James Mattis made a show of denouncing the damaging remarks attributed to them earlier this week, some former officials, like Cohn, have remained silent.
A senior official told Vanity Fair that Trump “hates” the leaks and was particularly upset about reports that Cohn intentionally “stole a letter off Trump’s desk” that would have removed the U.S. from the Korea Free Trade Agreement. Cohn reportedly gloated about the book and called a former coworker to ask “how he came off,” in Vanity Fair’s words.
“Gary wanted to make sure he didn’t compromise himself that much,” a person who spoke to Cohn told Vanity Fair.