President Trump in a tweet Tuesday night denied allegations in reporter Bob Woodward’s forthcoming book that he called Attorney General Jeff Sessions “mentally retarded” and a “dumb Southerner.”
“The already discredited Woodward book, so many lies and phony sources, has me calling Jeff Sessions ‘mentally retarded’ and ‘a dumb southerner,'” Trump tweeted. “I said NEITHER, never used those terms on anyone, including Jeff, and being a southerner is a GREAT thing. He made this up to divide!”
The already discredited Woodward book, so many lies and phony sources, has me calling Jeff Sessions “mentally retarded” and “a dumb southerner.” I said NEITHER, never used those terms on anyone, including Jeff, and being a southerner is a GREAT thing. He made this up to divide!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 5, 2018
The president’s tweet came hours after excerpts from the Watergate reporter’s book, “Fear: Trump in the White House,” were released to the public.
Among the numerous explosive allegations contained in the published passages was a conversation Trump had with a White House aide, in which Trump derided Sessions as “mentally retarded” and a “dumb Southerner” while mocking the attorney general’s Southern accent.
“He couldn’t even be a one-person country lawyer down in Alabama,” Trump also said, according to Woodward’s recounting.
The president had already taken to Twitter earlier to describe Woodward’s reporting as fraudulent and “a con on the public.” He also seemed to suggest the journalist was a Democratic “operative” who timed the release just as the midterms are approaching.
His tweet also comes amid heightened tensions between the White House and the Justice Department. Trump has frequently lashed out as his attorney general for his decision to recuse himself from the ongoing federal investigation into Russian election interference. But Trump noticeably ramped up the attacks on Labor Day, blasting Sessions for bringing “well publicized” charges against two of his earliest GOP supporters.
The latest attack drew heavy criticism from Democrats and members of the legal community, some of whom suggested it could be an “impeachable offense.”