Secretary of Defense James Mattis is also quoted in the book. According to Woodward, Mattis told friends, as advisors grew frightened of the president’s actions: “Secretaries of defense don’t always get to choose the president they work for.”
Several top officials cited in the book have already left the administration, such as former economic advisor Gary Cohn and Kelly’s predecessor as chief of staff, Reince Priebus.
Giuliani also tried to shed doubt on the credibility of Woodward’s book during Tuesday’s interview. Woodward, in a conversation with the president that was posted on The Washington Post website, vouched for the book’s accuracy. “I taped people for hundreds of hours,” Woodward said.
He said that since he’s been working for Trump pro-bono he has not heard of Woodward gaining access to the White House. Giuliani also said that during the debriefings with his predecessor, John Dowd, he was never told about the numerous interactions that are described in the book between Trump, Dowd, Jay Sekulow and members of Robert Mueller’s special counsel team.
Those meetings, according to Woodward, were to debate whether the president should sit down for an interview with Mueller as part of his larger investigation into whether the Trump campaign colluded with Russian operatives during the 2016 presidential election.
The book says that Dowd tried to keep Trump from doing an interview with the special counsel. In one exchange, he reportedly told Mueller and his deputy: “I’m not going to sit there and let him look like an idiot.”
A spokeswoman for the Department of Defense declined to comment. Dowd could not be reached for comment.