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President Donald Trump arrives to speak at a ceremony to present the Presidential Citizens Medal posthumously to Rick Rescorla in the East Room of the White House, Thursday, Nov. 7, 2019, in Washington.

WASHINGTON (AP) — A forthcoming book by an anonymous author identified only as "a senior official in the Trump administration" describes President Donald Trump as volatile, incompetent and unfit to be commander in chief, according to excerpts published Thursday by The Washington Post.

The book describes racist and misogynist behind-the-scenes statements by Trump and says he "stumbles, slurs, gets confused, is easily irritated, and has trouble synthesizing information."

The Post acquired a copy of the book, "A Warning," and first reported on its contents Thursday.

White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham released a statement late Thursday saying, "The coward who wrote this book didn't put their name on it because it is nothing but lies."

She said reporters should "cover the book as what it is — a work of fiction."

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In the book, due out Nov. 19, the writer claims senior administration officials considered resigning as a group last year in a "midnight self-massacre," but ultimately decided such an act would do more harm than good.

On Monday, the Justice Department sent a letter to the book's publisher and the writer's literary agency, raising questions over whether any confidentiality agreement had been violated and asking for information that could help reveal the author's identity.

The publisher, Hachette Book Group, responded by saying it would provide no additional information beyond calling the author a "current or former senior official."

"A Warning" was written by the official who wrote an essay, published last year in The New York Times, alleging that numerous people in the government were resisting the "misguided impulses" of Trump.

According to the Post, the author now writes, "Unelected bureaucrats and cabinet appointees were never going to steer Donald Trump the right direction in the long run, or refine his malignant management style. He is who he is."

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