"Frankly, it's sad and pathetic that a gutless anonymous source could receive so much attention from the media", she said.
White House press secretary Sarah Sanders refused to back down from that idea on Monday, despite the fact that there's no indication any laws were broken.
Sanders denied the White House is conducting its own investigation to uncover the source behind the article.
On Woodward's book, which will be released on Tuesday, Sanders reiterated the that numerous sources quoted in the book have denied what the Washington Post journalist reported and called Woodward's book "careless" and "reckless".
The book "reveals in unprecedented detail the harrowing life inside Donald Trump's White House and how the president makes decisions on major foreign and domestic policies", said publisher Simon & Schuster. Woodward notes a September 2017 incident, for instance, in which Trump economic advisor Gary Cohn withdrew papers from the president's desk which would keep him from withdrawing from KORUS, a key trade agreement with South Korea. Instead, Sanders said just the notion the unidentified official may be involved in national security matters was grounds enough to launch a probe.
Asked whether the administration is attempting to ferret out the culprit, Sanders said the staff is "focused on things that actually matter".
Novak Djokovic sweeps aside del Potro in US Open final
The Serb then continued the brilliant sportsmanship by consoling a shattered del Potro as he sat courtside. It was even louder because of the closed roof over Arthur Ashe Stadium to keep out the rain.
"I think it's less about that part of it and whether somebody is actively trying to undermine the executive branch of the government and a duly elected president of the United States", she said.
US Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, in turn, is quoted as saying the president has the mental capacity of a "fifth or sixth grader", while current chief of staff John Kelly is quoted as calling Trump "an idiot". One of the most unsafe incidents involved Trump's obsession with the 28,000 troops the US has stationed in South Korea, and the $3.5 billion a year the USA pays to keep them there, Woodward explained, quoting Trump as saying: "I don't know why they're there".
FILE - Former Washington Post reporter Bob Woodward speaks during an event sponsored by The Washington Post to commemorate the 40th anniversary of Watergate, June 11, 2012 at the Watergate office building in Washington.
"They are not telling the truth", Woodward said.
"It happens frequently", Woodward said. Many have already come forward to say the quotes by them, like the book, are fiction.
In the book, Kelly is quoted as saying of Trump: "He's an idiot". "When no effort was made, it seems like a very careless and reckless way to write a book".
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