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.
Bob Woodward is an investigative journalist, editor and author who is most famous for his reporting of the Watergate scandal along with Carl Bernstein for the Washington Post, which ultimately led to the resignation of President Nixon.
Veteran journalist Bob Woodward said a "key" official in the Trump administration privately told him that the details in his books are "1,000 percent true", but later publicly defamed him.
US Defence Secretary Jim Mattis, in turn, is quoted as saying the president has the mental capacity of a "fifth or sixth grader", while Chief of Staff John Kelly is quoted as calling Mr Trump "an idiot".
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. Colbert asked how we can know what's going on when Trump changes his mind daily, or maybe forgets what he thought yesterday. "That's just the Washington denial machine", he said Monday, a familiar formula created to protect their jobs and preserve their relations with their boss. "So I think it's - in a sense - the wrong phrase".
More recently, Trump has accused Woodward of fabricating quotes and questioned whether US libel laws could be changed so that people who believe they have been wronged would be in a better position to seek "retribution". He said people in Trump's administration are anxious that the president will sign things or give orders that threaten USA or world security and finances. "The Woodward book is a Joke - just another assault against me, in a barrage of assaults, using now disproven unnamed and anonymous sources", he declared in one of a string of derisive tweets Monday.
In a series of Tweets Monday, the president continued to lash out at Woodward personally and his book's portrayal of Trump as a foul-mouthed and bumbling egotist.
Kentucky Senator Rand Paul first floated the idea last week that Trump would be justified in using lie detector tests to smoke out the anonymous author, the report said. And he looked at me and said, 'Are you still doing this [expletive]?' And he meant it.
"At the same time, I think I'm able to compartmentalize it", he added.
"People who are well respected in this administration have come out and denied it", he commented. "Say whatever you need and want to say, and continue to serve your country", was the gist of Pence's message, according to Woodward.
"Mattis announced he would study the issue", Woodward wrote.