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Trump denies calling Sessions a ‘dumb Southerner’ or ‘mentally retarded’ — ‘lies’

The White House pushed back after reports that author and Watergate reporter Bob Woodward claimed in his upcoming book that President Donald Trump called Attorney General Jeff Sessions “a traitor,” “mentally retarded” and a “dumb Southerner” who could not “even be a one-person country lawyer down in Alabama.”

The book, entitled “Fear,” is slated to be released September 11. In a preview, the Washington Post – where Woodward has long worked – teases shocking allegations from behind-the-scenes of the Trump White House.

In respective statements, Chief of Staff John Kelly and Secretary of Defense James “Mad Dog” Mattis directly denied Woodward’s reporting that both belittled the president to other staff members – in colorful ways – and Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said the “book is nothing more than fabricated stories.”

The book also contains especially personal and demeaning alleged comments about Sessions made by Trump, which the president strongly denied as “lies” in a late-night tweet.

 

Alabama Sen. Richard Shelby defended Sessions in an interview, saying, “I think Sessions is a very smart man and a man of integrity.”

Shelby, well before Trump denied the accusations, also made it clear that he doubted the details of Woodward’s reporting.

“I think the president’s probably got a lot of respect for the South … He did well there. Without the South he wouldn’t be the president of the United States,” Shelby explained.

Per CNBC, Woodward conducted hundreds of hours of interviews with individuals who were participants and witnesses in the conversations referenced in the book and also utilized tapped notes, contemporary diaries and government documents.

The interviews were granted on the condition of “deep background,” which, according to the author, means that while he could write what supposedly happened, Woodward could not reveal his sources.

In another tweet, Trump said that the anonymous sources quoted in the book are “frauds” perpetrating “a con on the public.”

Press Secretary Sanders said that many of the sources are “former disgruntled employees” who are trying “to make the president look bad.”

Sean Ross is a staff writer for Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @sean_yhn

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