In his new book, investigative journalist Bob Woodward recounts a meeting in which President Trump wondered why the United States was working to maintain security and stability in the Asia-Pacific region. “We’re doing this in order to prevent World War III,” Defense Secretary Jim Mattis responded.
Woodward writes that after the meeting, “Mattis was particularly exasperated and alarmed, telling close associates that the president acted like — and had the understanding of — ‘a fifth- or sixth-grader.’ ” That’s via The Washington Post, which published bits from the book on Tuesday.
But the Defense secretary says he didn’t say that. Later in the day, the Pentagon released a statement by Mattis: “The contemptuous words about the President attributed to me in Woodward’s book were never uttered by me or in my presence. While I generally enjoy reading fiction, this is a uniquely Washington brand of literature…”
Read the whole statement, here.
Trump weighed in with a Tweet at 7:33 a.m. on Wednesday:
Isn’t it a shame that someone can write an article or book, totally make up stories and form a picture of a person that is literally the exact opposite of the fact, and get away with it without retribution or cost. Don’t know why Washington politicians don’t change libel laws?— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 5, 2018
This is an excerpt from the D-Brief. To read the whole D-Brief, click here.