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Trump, after agreeing to sit for a raft of book interviews, declares them a ‘total waste of time’

Former president Donald Trump speaks about filing a class-action lawsuit targeting Facebook, Google and Twitter during a news conference in Bedminster, N.J., on July 7. (Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post)

Former president Donald Trump, who reportedly agreed to sit for at least a dozen interviews in recent months for forthcoming books about his tenure, said Friday that doing so was “a total waste of time.”

“It seems to me that meeting with authors of the ridiculous number of books being written about my very successful Administration, or me, is a total waste of time,” Trump said in a statement in which he accused the authors of producing “pure fiction.”

“These writers are often bad people who write whatever comes to their mind or fits their agenda,” he said. “It has nothing to do with facts or reality.”

Trump took aim in particular at an anecdote in a forthcoming book by Michael C. Bender, the senior White House reporter for the Wall Street Journal.

In an essay adapted from the book published Thursday, Bender recounted a 2018 episode when Trump and then-Vice President Mike Pence sparred over the hiring of Trump adviser Corey Lewandowski by Pence’s political committee.

According to Bender’s account, Trump told Pence he considered the move “disloyal” and threw a crumpled newspaper article about the hiring at him. Pence reportedly threw the article back at Trump and said that the move was made at the suggestion of Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner.

In a separate statement Friday, Trump attacked Bender as a “third-rate reporter” and said it was “totally false” that he and Pence had a fight over Lewandowski.

In a tweet following that statement, Bender said he stood by his reporting.

“The fight happened in front of others and multiple sources confirmed,” Benders said. “It is correct — and just one of many revealing details in the excerpt and still unreported in the book.”

He included an Amazon link for those interested in buying the book.

Politico reported in March that Trump planned to sit for a dozen book interviews. Among the authors: The Washington Post’s Philip Rucker and Carol D. Leonnig, the New York Times’s Jeremy Peters and Maggie Haberman; ABC News Chief Washington Correspondent Jon Karl; and “Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House” author Michael Wolff.