US President Donald Trump has denied assertions by prominent journalist Bob Woodward in his new book that he ordered the assassination of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. Mr Trump said the idea was "never even discussed" with defence officials. Defence Secretary James Mattis has also denied words attributed to him in Woodward's book.
The book Fear: Trump in the White House depicts a chaotic administration in a "nervous breakdown of executive power". Mr Trump has already condemned the new work as a "con on the public". In the book, senior aides are quoted as saying they hid sensitive documents to prevent Mr Trump signing them and as calling him an "idiot" and a "liar".
Woodward is a widely respected, veteran journalist who helped expose President Richard Nixon's role in the Watergate scandal in the 1970s. A day after extracts of the book was published in the Washington Post, another daily posted an opinion piece attributed to an unnamed senior White House official saying that the root of the administration's problems was Mr Trump's amorality.
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