Two former top Trump officials, Gary Cohn and Rob Porter, on Tuesday slammed Bob Woodward's book "Fear" as inaccurate and misleading, though Woodward maintained the accuracy of his work.
"This book does not accurately portray my experience at the White House," Cohn told Axios in a statement. "I am proud of my service in the Trump administration, and I continue to support the president and his economic agenda."
However, Cohn cited no specific objections to Woodward's book, which was released Tuesday, and opened with the former Goldman Sachs chief operating officer saying he "stole" a draft letter off Trump's desk to South Korean President Park Geun-hye that would have ended the United States-Korea Free Trade Agreement.
"I stole it off his desk," Woodward quoted Cohn as later telling an associate. "I wouldn't let him see it. He's never going to see that document.
"Got to protect the country."
In his Axios statement, Porter, the former White House staff secretary, ripped Woodward's book as a "selective and often misleading portrait" of "the president and his administration."
"The suggestion that materials were 'stolen' from the president's desk to prevent his signature misunderstands how the White House document-review process works — and has worked for at least the last eight administrations.
"It was also my responsibility to help ensure that relevant viewpoints were considered, that pros and cons were evaluated, that policy proposals were thoroughly vetted, and that the president could make decisions based on full information," Porter added.
"Fulfilling this responsibility does not make someone part of a 'resistance' or mean they are seeking to 'thwart' the president's agenda.
"Quite the opposite.
"President Trump invites robust discussion and asks probing questions," Porter said. "He has the confidence to allow advisors to disagree with a proposed course of action and advocate for an alternative outcome — and I sometimes did just that.
"But in the end, President Trump is the one who decides, and he has shown himself more than capable of doing so."
In response to both attacks, Woodward told Axios in a statement: "I continue to stand by my reporting."
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