A forthcoming book by an anonymous insider in the Trump administration has described the US president as volatile, incompetent and unfit to be commander-in-chief.
In excerpts published by The Washington Post, the book, entitled A Warning, describes racist and misogynist behind-the-scenes statements by Donald Trump and says he “stumbles, slurs, gets confused, is easily irritated, and has trouble synthesising information”.
White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham released a statement late on Thursday, saying: “The coward who wrote this book didn’t put their name on it because it is nothing but lies.”
She said reporters should “cover the book as what it is — a work of fiction”.
In the book, due out on November 19, the writer claims senior administration officials considered resigning as a group last year in a “midnight self-massacre”, but ultimately decided such an act would do more harm than good.
On Monday, the Justice Department sent a letter to the book’s publisher and the writer’s literary agency, raising questions over whether any confidentiality agreement had been violated and asking for information that could help reveal the author’s identity.
The publisher, Hachette Book Group, responded by saying it would provide no additional information beyond calling the author a “current or former senior official”.
A Warning was written by the same official who wrote an essay, published last year in The New York Times, alleging that numerous people in the US government were resisting the “misguided impulses” of Mr Trump.
According to the Post, the author now writes: “Unelected bureaucrats and cabinet appointees were never going to steer Donald Trump the right direction in the long run, or refine his malignant management style. He is who he is.”