Journalists began their Pavlovian foaming-at-the-mouth on Tuesday with the release of Bob Woodward's salacious, largely anonymously-sourced anti-Trump book "Fear." Within the book, Woodward claims Secretary of Defense James Mattis told "close associates that the president acted like — and had the understanding of — 'a fifth- or sixth-grader.'"
Living up to his "Mad Dog" nickname, General Mattis released an unfiltered statement on Tuesday afternoon denying the accusations and slamming Woodward for his "uniquely Washington brand of literature."
"The contemptuous words about the President attributed to me in Woodward's book were never uttered by me or in my presence," says the general's statement. "While I generally enjoy reading fiction, this is a uniquely Washington brand of literature, and his anonymous sources do not lend credibility."
Continuing, Mattis says that real-life policy making is messy and requires thorough debate — debate which has led to Trump administration successes like "the near annihilation of ISIS caliphate, unprecedented burden sharing by our NATO allies, the repatriation of U.S. service member remains from North Korea, and the improved readiness of our armed forces."
"The idea that I would show contempt for the elected Commander-in-Chief president Donald Trump, or tolerate disrespect to the office of the President from within our Department of Defense is a product of someone's rich imagination," concludes Mattis.
President Donald Trump likewise pushed back on Woodward's "bad book." The president denied anyone stealing material from his desk, as is claimed in the book, and said Woodward has "a lot of credibility problems."
Moreover, Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders and Chief of Staff John Kelly called foul on Woodward's claims. "This book is nothing more than fabricated stories, many by former disgruntled employees, told to make the President look bad," slammed Sanders. And Kelly rebuked the claim that he called Trump an "idiot," directly calling it "not true."