On Wednesday, former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie accused former White House chief strategist Stephen Bannon of being the "co-author" of journalist Bob Woodward's anti-Trump book, "Fear: Trump in the White House."
"Unfortunately, it appears Bob Woodward has used perpetual leaker Steve Bannon as a co-author for his book," wrote Christie, a 2016 Republican presidential candidate. "His non-stop, self-centered leaking is why Steve was fired from the White House in the first place," he added.
Christie, who is a subject in the book, continued to unleash his wrath on Woodward and Bannon: "If Mr. Woodward would have performed rudimentary journalistic fact checking with those he was quoting, he would have had a more accurate book rather than just being a stenographer for Mr. Bannon's self-aggrandizing revisionist history."
In "Fear," Woodward claims Trump accused Christie of "stealing" from him while he was assisting on the presidential campaign trail, notes The Hill. "Where the f*** is the money?" Trump allegedly asked Christie about transition team funds. "I need money for my campaign. I’m putting money in my campaign and you’re f***ing stealing from me."
Christie has rebutted Woodward's claims. "To be clear," he wrote in a subsequent tweet, "a number of the statements attributed to me and from others to me in the Woodward book are incorrect. I would have been happy to correct them if Mr. Woodward or any member of his staff would have called me, as a person they were quoting, for standard fact checking."
Though the media has breathlessly praised Woodward's new book, there are credibility issues with the journalist at hand. The media have "left out part of the story: repeated, credible charges — including from well-respected fellow journalists — that in previous books Woodward embellished the truth, made dubious bombshell claims or was otherwise misleading," The Daily Caller's Peter Hasson details in an extensive report.
Moreover, Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders, Chief of Staff John Kelly, Secretary of Defense James Mattis, and other top officials have all slammed Woodward for his allegedly untrue claims.
"The contemptuous words about the President attributed to me in Woodward's book were never uttered by me or in my presence," General Mattis said in a statement. "While I generally enjoy reading fiction, this is a uniquely Washington brand of literature, and his anonymous sources do not lend credibility."
Carl Bernstein, a former reporting partner of Woodward, claims the "Fear" author has "hundreds" of audio tapes substantiating his claims.