New Woodward book extremely critical of Trump

WASHINGTON (AP) – An upcoming book by journalist Bob Woodward says President Donald Trump's chief of staff privately called him an "idiot" and presidential aides plucked sensitive documents off Trump's desk and thought he was often unaware of foreign policy basics.

Those are some of the explosive anecdotes in Woodward's book on Trump's first 18 months in office. The Washington Post on Tuesday published details from "Fear: Trump in the White House."

Woodward quotes an exasperated Chief of Staff John Kelly doubting Trump's mental faculties, declaring during one meeting, "We're in Crazytown."

Trump's former lawyer in the Russia probe, John Dowd, is also said to have doubted Trump's ability to avoid perjuring himself should he sit down with special counsel Robert Mueller.

Dowd says scenes and comments in journalist Bob Woodward's explosive new book on Trump did not occur.

Dowd resigned from Trump's legal team in January. The book, "Fear: Trump in the White House," says he did so following a mock-interview he conducted with Trump in anticipation of sitting down with special counsel Robert Mueller.

Dowd is quoted as telling the president, "Don't testify. It's either that or an orange jumpsuit."

In a statement issued Tuesday, Dowd says, "There was no so-called 'practice session' or 're-enactment' of a mock interview at the Special Counsel's office."

He adds: "Further, I did not refer to the President as a "liar" and did not say that he was likely to end up in an 'orange jump suit.'"

Kelly is denying an account in Woodward's book that he called Trump an "idiot."

Kelly says, "The idea I ever called the president an idiot is not true."

In a separate statement, the White House is dismissing the book as "nothing more than fabricated stories."

Press secretary Sarah Sanders says in a statement: "This book is nothing more than fabricated stories, many by former disgruntled employees, told to make the President look bad."

She adds that President Donald Trump's accomplishments don't get enough coverage in the press, saying "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."