The anonymous official, identified only as "a senior official in the Trump administration", launched a almost unprecedented attack on the President in the op-ed, saying Trump's "erratic" and "amoral" behaviour is "detrimental" to America's health.
Colbert, who said he read every page of the book himself, also said he particularly loved the last line, in which Woodward said Trump lawyer John Dowd "knew he could not bring himself to say to the president, 'you're a [expletive] liar".
The White House on Monday sought to project an image of productive forward momentum, even as President Donald Trump and many of his aides remain sidetracked and preoccupied by dual accounts of a warring and mutinous West Wing.
In the book, Woodward cited an alleged phone conversation between Trump and Mattis in which Trump went into an expletive-laden rant against Assad and told Mattis to have him killed.
"It was clear that Trump did not understand the way the U.S. government debt cycle balance sheet worked", Woodward wrote.
Among other things Colbert and Woodward discussed was if the author ever thinks about the motives of his sources.More news: Ceasefire talks fail as airstrikes target last rebel-held region in Syria
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"Cohn cited no specific objections to Woodward's extensive reporting of his private views that Trump needed to be saved from his most unsafe impulses", Axios reports. "The idea that a secretary of defense has to tell the president that all of these actions are created to prevent the ultimate catastrophe and then Mattis goes on and says, you know, that if we don't keep these programs, which are very sensitive, the only deterrent option we have would be the nuclear option".
"The Woodward book is a Joke - just another assault against me, in a barrage of assaults, using now disproven unnamed and anonymous sources". In his 1987 book "Veiled" about the CIA, Woodward attributed quotes he claimed to have gotten from former CIA Director William Casey. While the president expressed annoyance that Barack Obama was taking credit for the nation's economic success, he told one adviser that the former president's increased visibility would give Trump more chances to attack a figure who remained very unpopular with his base.
"The suggestion that materials were "stolen" from the president's desk to prevent his signature misunderstands how the White House document review process works - and has worked for at least the last eight administrations", Porter says.
'And in the end I know what I've done, and I'm not anxious about that at all, because you know, I've done nothing that anyone else wouldn't do in that position, in my opinion'.
Per Woodward, Cohn quipped in response: "That doesn't mean they're right". Many senior aides have also scrambled to deny they made the comments, claiming they weren't quoted accurately by the investigative reporter.
But Woodward added this: "I think people better wake up to the nature of the war on truth and its outcome". Both Kelly and Mattis have denied making any such remarks. And Cohn doesn't even bother to take issue with any specific details.