CNN has published a letter that was reportedly stolen off the desk of President Donald Trump by former White House Chief Economic Adviser Gary Cohn. The purpose of Cohn’s theft is said to be so the letter wouldn’t be signed and sent to South Korea.
In an article titled, “Read the stolen letter from Trump’s desk reported in Bob Woodward’s book,” CNN reports that Cohn stole a draft of the letter off Trump’s Oval Office desk in order to prevent a trade deal with South Korea from being terminated.
CNN obtained this letter from a copy of Woodward’s new book, “Fear: Trump in the White House,” which will be available to the public on Sept. 11, where the letter is said to have been reproduced by Woodward.
The news outlet reported that Woodward, “reiterated to CNN on Thursday that he stands by all his reporting in the book.”
The image of the letter CNN published, is addressed to “His Excellency Moon Jae-in, President of the Republic of Korea” and “His Excellency Kim Hyun-chong,” the Minister for Trade, Industry and Energy. It is dated Sept 5, 2017, and is marked “Pre-decisional/Deliberative” at the top.
The body of the email is as follows:
“The United States-Korea Free Trade Agreement (Agreement), in its current form, is not in the overall best interest of the United States economy. Thus, in accordance with Article 24.5 of the Agreement, the United States hereby provides notice that it wishes to terminate the Agreement.
“As prescribed by the terms of article 24.5, the agreement shall terminate 180 days after the date of this notice. During this period, the United States is prepared to negotiate with the Republic of Korea on economic issues of concern to both countries.
“Respectfully, Donald J. Trump
“President of the United States.”
Under the letter, which appears to have been copied directly from the book, there is a paragraph that described the page as the “draft letter to the South Korean president withdrawing from the trade agreement.”
It also says, “Gary Cohn took it from President Trump’s Oval Office desk so it wouldn’t be signed and sent.”
Woodward has receipts. For instance he publishes the draft letter Cohn swiped from Trump’s desk: pic.twitter.com/nvR42wY0Mf
— Ryan Lizza (@RyanLizza) September 6, 2018
According to Woodward, aides didn’t want Trump to send the letter for fear of jeopardizing a “top-secret US program that can detect North Korean missile launches within seven seconds,” CNN reported.
The president has heralded Woodward’s book as fiction since the onset, posting on Twitter early Friday morning that, “The Woodward book is a scam. I don’t talk the way I am quoted. If I did I would not have been elected President.”
The Woodward book is a scam. I don’t talk the way I am quoted. If I did I would not have been elected President. These quotes were made up. The author uses every trick in the book to demean and belittle. I wish the people could see the real facts – and our country is doing GREAT!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 7, 2018
Trump also tweeted statements from Secretary of Defense James Mattis and White House Chief of Staff General John Kelly, both of whom vehemently deny the validity of Woodward’s book and that they said what Woodward quoted them as saying.
“The contemptuous words about the President attributed to me in Woodward’s book were never uttered by me or in my presence,” Mattis said. “While I generally enjoy reading fiction, this is a uniquely Washington brand of literature, and his anonymous sources do not lend credibility.”
In Kelly’s statement, he said of the president, “He and I both know this story is total BS. I’m committed to the president, his agenda and our country.”