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‘Modi a friend of mine, I like him very much’: US President Trump in Woodward’s new book

"Prime Minister Modi of India is a friend of mine, he (Trump) said. I like him very much," Trump is quoted as saying by Woodward. The book has created a controversy as Donald Trump and his office have criticised the author for misquoting the US president.

In the latest book by renowned journalist Bob Woodward, US President Donald Trump has described Prime Minister Narendra Modi as his friend who told him that the US has got nothing out of Afghanistan. Woodward in his book ‘Fear: Trump in the White House’ that hit the stores on Tuesday, has portrayed a dysfunctional Trump administration.

“Prime Minister Modi of India is a friend of mine, he (Trump) said. I like him very much,” Trump is quoted as saying by Woodward. The book has created a controversy as Donald Trump and his office have criticised the book for misquoting the US 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!,” Trump tweeted on September 7.

The White House has described the book as “reckless” and a work of fiction with the president calling it a “joke”. According to Woodward, Trump made this comment during a Situation Room meeting in the White House on July 19 last year, nearly three weeks after he had a very successful meeting with Modi at the White House on June 26.

“He (Modi) told me the US has gotten nothing out of Afghanistan. Nothing. Afghanistan has massive mineral wealth. We don’t take it like others – like China,” Trump is quoted as saying during the July 19 situation room meeting. “The US needed to get some of Afghanistan’s valuable minerals in exchange for any support. I’m not making a deal on anything until we get minerals. And the US ‘must stop payments to Pakistan until they cooperate’,” Trump said.

Six months later, Trump in a new year tweet on January 1 announced stopping all military aid to Pakistan arguing that it is not taking action against terrorist groups operating from its soil.

According to the book, Trump told his national security aide that US is losing in Afghanistan. “We’re losing big in Afghanistan. It’s a disaster. Our allies aren’t helping. Ghost soldiers – those paid but not serving – are ripping us off. NATO is a disaster and a waste, he said. The soldiers had told him that NATO staff were totally dysfunctional,” the book says.

“Pakistan isn’t helping us. They’re not really a friend,” despite the USD 1.3 billion a year in aid the US gave them, Trump is quoted as saying by the author. Woodward also writes that Trump refused to send any additional aid. The Afghan leaders were corrupt and making money off the US, he writes.

-With PTI inputs

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