Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders and Chief of Staff John Kelly pushed back against the "dramatic" claims in investigative journalist Bob Woodward's new book on the Trump White House, which alleges, among other things, that Kelly called Trump an "idiot" and the president labeled Jeff Sessions "mentally retarded."
"This book is nothing more than fabricated stories, many by former disgruntled employees, told to make the President look bad," Sanders said in a statement Tuesday.
Though she generally dismissed the allegations, she noted that breaking through "the bureaucratic process" at times gets a little ugly. "While it is not always pretty, and rare that the press actually covers it, President Trump has broken through the bureaucratic process to deliver unprecedented successes for the American people," she continued. "Sometimes it is unconventional, but he always gets results."
Sanders added that it's exactly because of his ability to get things done, often in an unconventional way, that the Democrats and the media see him as such a threat. "Democrats and their allies in the media understand the President’s policies are working and with success like this, no one can beat him in 2020 — not even close," she said.
Gen. Kelly likewise issued a response about his alleged comments. "The idea I ever called the president an idiot is not true," he said in a response reported by CNBC. "As I stated back in May and still firmly stand behind: 'I spend more time with the President than anyone else, and we have an incredibly candid and strong relationship. He always knows where I stand, and he and I both know this story is total BS. I’m committed to the President, his agenda, and our country. This is another pathetic attempt to smear people close to President Trump and distract from the administration’s many successes.'"
Ahead of the release of the new book, "Fear: Trump in the White House," scandalous excerpts have emerged, among them that Trump allegedly mocked Sessions' southern accent and intelligence, saying, "This guy is mentally retarded. He’s this dumb Southerner … He couldn’t even be a one-person country lawyer down in Alabama." He also reportedly called him a "traitor" for recusing himself from the Russia investigation.
The book also alleges that Kelly called Trump an "idiot." "He’s an idiot," Kelly supposedly said. "It’s pointless to try to convince him of anything. He’s gone off the rails. We’re in Crazytown. I don’t even know why any of us are here. This is the worst job I’ve ever had."