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Trump calls for tougher libel laws after Woodward book

Washington Examiner logo Washington Examiner 9/5/2018 Katelyn Caralle
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President Trump argued Wednesday that Bob Woodward's book on his presidency is so bad that Congress ought to consider changes to U.S. libel laws.

“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,” Trump tweeted. “Don’t know why Washington politicians don’t change libel laws?”

Trump didn't mention Woodward's book by name, but excerpts from the book, "Fear: Trump in the White House," shared on Tuesday quoted unnamed officials who said both White House chief of staff John Kelly and Defense Secretary Jim Mattis made disparaging comments towards the president.

Another report said Trump called Attorney General Jeff Sessions “mentally retarded,” and a “dumb southerner.”

Kelly, Mattis, and Trump all denounced the claims in Woodward’s book, deeming the comments inflammatory and the book discredited, despite the hundreds of hours of taped interviews Woodward says he obtained.

Trump said in a Tuesday night tweet that he never used those phrases toward Sessions, or anyone else.

Mattis said Tuesday he “never uttered” the words attributed to him in Woodward’s book, and said he viewed the book as a word of “fiction.”

Kelly echoed the same type of sentiment Tuesday, saying the idea that he has ever or would ever called the president an idiot is untrue.

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