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Woodward: Trump 'detached from reality,' jeopardizes national security

NBC News logo NBC News 9/10/2018 Jane C. Timm
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Veteran journalist Bob Woodward said Monday in an exclusive interview on NBC News' "Today" that President Donald Trump is "detached from reality" and jeopardizes American national security.

"I've never seen instance when the president is so detached from the reality of what's going on," Woodward said.

The Washington Post editor and author of Fear: Trump in the White House recounted an incident in which the president complained about U.S. troops in the Korean peninsula. Woodward said the president's staff tried to explain that this is a defensive measure.

"(Defense Secretary) James Mattis says we're doing this to prevent World War III," Woodward added.

Bob Woodward appears on the Today showBob Woodward appears on the Today show on Sept. 10, 2018. © Provided by NBCU News Group, a division of NBCUniversal Media LLC Bob Woodward appears on the Today showBob Woodward appears on the Today show on Sept. 10, 2018. Woodward depicts widespread White House dysfunction in "Fear," raising explosive allegations of a paranoid president whose own staff believes is unhinged and erratic. The book's findings were amplified when The New York Times published an anonymous op-ed from a senior administration official, claiming the president's staff seeks to thwart his "more misguided impulses." The book will be released on Tuesday.

"This has not been treated seriously enough," Woodward said on "Today." "The things that Trump did and does jeopardizes the real national security."

The famed journalist also pushed back on criticism that his book relies entirely on unnamed sources and the White House insiders and others who have claimed his reporting is inaccurate.

"The incidents are not anonymous. It gives a date, it gives a time, who participates, most often the president himself and what he says," Woodward said.

Asked if the Trump showed signs of mental defect, Woodward said "my job here is not to psychoanalyze, it's to describe what happened. On specific dates, in specific moments."

Trump has attacked the book and author, calling it "fiction" and Woodward an "idiot."

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