Trump is unfit for office. Bob Woodward's "Fear" confirms it.

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White House press secretary Sarah Sanders released a statement pointing out that Trump handily won the 2016 presidential election thanks to the support of almost 62 million voters, and that, "None of them voted for a gutless, anonymous source to the failing New York Times", using Trump's favourite catchphrase for the newspaper.

Mattis agreed with the president, and said he would "get right on it" according to the newspaper.

President Trump took to Twitter late Wednesday and vowed to continue "draining the swamp" after The New York Times ran an anonymous op-ed written by a senior White House official who labeled the president "petty and ineffective". In one scene in the book, Gary Cohn plucks a letter from Trump that would have formally withdrawn the United States from an important trade agreement with South Korea. In those reports, numerous senior administration officials have described Trump's impulsive decision-making and the chaos that has often animated the President's inner circle. "The day it comes out that Trump secretly works out and reads Shakespeare and teaches kids how to code, that's when we can call it a bombshell". It says there's a resistance inside the Trump administration to curb Trump's worst impulses.

Trump has grown paranoid and anxious over an ongoing federal inquiry into whether his campaign colluded with Russian Federation in Moscow's alleged interference in the 2016 presidential election, prompting aides to compare Trump to former President Richard Nixon during the Watergate scandal, Woodward reported.

At one point, Trump told Woodward: "You know I'm very open to you".

He says the book's quotes from Defense Secretary Jim Mattis and his Chief of Staff John Kelly 'were made up frauds, a con on the public'.

In a later tweet Trump also denied calling Attorney General Jeff Sessions quote "mentally retarded" and a "dumb southerner", calling the claims made up and created to be divisive.

The op-ed confirms numerous reports in Bob Woodward's new book Fear, which reported that top officials remove papers from Trump's desk to stop him from seeing and signing them: "The erratic behavior would be more concerning if it weren't for unsung heroes in and around the White House".

The column appeared as the White House already was fighting leaked details from the forthcoming Woodward book, Fear, that describes a dysfunctional White House in which the president is not respected by his staff - and in which aides sometimes take clandestine action to keep the president from acting in ways that hurt the country.

"We have a presidency which is off the rails", Kerry told Cooper and went as far as to say that the nation is experiencing a "constitutional crisis". Chief of staff John Kelly is quoted as calling Trump "an idiot" and lamenting, "We're in Crazytown".

FILE - White House press secretary Sarah Sanders speaks during a press briefing at the White House, May 7, 2018.

White House officials did not immediately respond to a request to elaborate on Trump's call for the writer to be turned over to the government or the unsupported national security ground of his demand.

Underscoring the aggressive response, Trump campaign manager Brad Parscale tweeted that Woodward "got played".

"It's really too bad, because nobody told me about it, and I would've loved to have spoken to you", Trump declared.

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