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Trump's advisers are repeatedly stunned by the president's lack of interest in and knowledge of major issues.

Some of the most senior figures in Mr Trump's administration are quoted in the book disparaging the president's intellectual abilities.

A Pentagon spokesman, Col. Rob Manning, said Mattis was never interviewed by Woodward.

The book includes details of how then-economic adviser Gary Cohn stopped the president from ordering an exit from Nafta and a trade deal with South Korea by intercepting official papers. Trump's closest aides, including cabinet members, took extraordinary steps to control his unsafe impulses that could wreck agreements and cause war, including stealing papers from his desk awaiting his signature.

Trump called the allegation that officials removed paperwork from his desk to prevent him from signing it "false" and "made up". "There was nobody taking anything from me", he said.

Mattis also reportedly had to rein in US policy after a phone call in which the president supposedly ranted about wanting to "f*cking kill" Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. "Let's go in. Let's kill the f***ing lot of them".

Mr Mattis told Mr Trump he would "get right on it", but instead developed a plan for a limited air strike that did not threaten Mr Assad personally.

According to Woodward, Mattis told staff to ignore a tirade by Trump against Syria's president Bashar al-Assad in the wake of a chemical weapons attack in April 2017 and the U.S. president's alleged statement: "Let's fucking kill him!"

"The idea I ever called the President an idiot is not true", he said in a response reported by CNBC. Mattis called the book "the product of someone's rich imagination".

Later that month, Dowd told Trump why he should avoid an interview: "It's either that or an orange jumpsuit".

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The storm has gained a little more strength and is expected to move into the Central Pacific Basin (crossing 140 W) later today. The official death toll is more than 546, according to Haiti's Civil Protection Service, but that number is expected to rise.

"Fear: Trump in the White House" describes the White House in disarray, with the closest aides afraid not of what the president might do to them, but what he might do to the country, reports CBS News' David Martin who has read the book and spoken to Woodward.

'He's an idiot. It is pointless to try and convince him of anything.

"I'm the only thing protecting the president from the press", Woodward quoted Kelly as saying in a meeting.

"I knew I had a gray beard".

"While I generally enjoy reading fiction, this is a uniquely Washington brand of literature, and his anonymous sources do not lend credibility", Mattis said. "He's this dumb Southerner", Trump said about Sessions, according to the book. Mattis is somebody who continues to work in the White House because he's a public servant and career military leader who knows he offers real insulation against Trump's war-mongering. He's this dumb Southerner ...

According to Fear, Trump told White House Staff Secretary Rob Porter that Sessions was a "traitor" for recusing himself from overseeing the Russian Federation investigation.

"It's just nasty stuff", Trump said.

"Rudy, you're a baby!" How in the world was I ever persuaded to pick him for my attorney general? He went on to say, "You're weak, Rudy". He added that the author "never called me".

The president told Woodward he would've done an interview but wasn't aware of any requests. When Dowd asked about the firing of FBI Director James Comey, the president unleashed a 30-minute torrent of rage. On March 5, Dowd met with the special counsel and one of his deputies and explained why he was trying to keep Trump away from them. "He's an idiot", Kelly supposedly said.

"Let's [expletive] kill him". I'm the first daughter and I'm never going to be a staffer.' Ivanka Trump listens as President Donald Trump APTrump after making a speech condemning white supremacists over violence in Charlottesville: 'That was the biggest f****** mistake I've made.