Israel’s intelligence minister debunked a major claim in Bob Woodward’s book.
Israel’s intelligence minister said on Wednesday he had no knowledge of close ally U.S. President Donald Trump ever ordering the killing of Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad.
A new book by Watergate reporter Bob Woodward, “Fear: Trump in the White House”, says Trump told his defense secretary that he wanted to have Assad assassinated in response to a chemical attack on Syrian civilians in April 2017.
The book said James Mattis, the defense secretary, told Trump he would “get right on it” but instead developed a plan for a limited air strike that did not threaten Assad personally.
Trump tweeted that quotes attributed to Mattis were “made up frauds, a con on the public”. Mattis dismissed the book as “a uniquely Washington brand of literature”.
“I do not know of any such instruction. He (Trump) is also denying it, by the way,” Israeli Intelligence Minister Yisrael Katz told Tel Aviv radio station 103 FM.
“In any event, what can be said is that in the framework of the coordination between the United States and Israel … the subject of the Syrian regime is certainly part of the discussions. Israel did not take a decision to topple Assad.”
Multiple members of the Trump administration also have called out false parts of Woodward’s book.