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Reince Priebus slams "Anonymous" op-ed writer who wrote a book on Trump

Reince Priebus says "A Warning" by Anonymous is "out-of-touch"
Reince Priebus says "A Warning" by Anonymous is "out-of-touch" 04:25

President Trump's former chief of staff, Reince Priebus, is calling a new book slamming the president a "cheap way to make money" and suggesting that the anonymous author of "A Warning," who claims to be a current or former senior Trump administration official, was not involved in high-level conversations.

"No one knows to what extent this person actually knows what they're talking about," Priebus said in an interview with CBS News chief Washington correspondent Major Garrett. "There's no way to judge the veracity of what this person is saying."

"I don't think it's a senior person in the sense of what Americans think as 'senior,'" he told Garrett in this Thanksgiving-week episode of "The Takeout" podcast. Priebus dismissed the author as "not a main piece on the chess board," though he also conceded that he does not know who penned the book and said that he was not the author.  

Priebus disputed claims in "A Warning" that the president can be unhinged in private moments in the White House.

"I think that it's much more complex and complicated than a conclusion than just, 'the president just pops off too much,'" he told Garrett.

He also took issue with the tell-all aspect of some parts of the book, even as he spoke approvingly of an analytical approach to discussing Mr. Trump's decision-making processes. 

"I think it's one thing to try and provide a little insight into how President Trump makes decisions ... I think it's wrong to disclose private conversations, but I don't think it's wrong to try to analyze the president, try to explain to people how he makes decisions," Priebus said. "It's just a cheap way to make money." 

However, Anonymous did not take an advance and if the writer earns any royalties, he or she plans to donate the proceeds "substantially" to nonprofits "that focus on government accountability and on supporting those who stand up for the truth in repressive countries around the world." 

The author said on Tuesday that the book won't be Anonymous' final word on Mr. Trump and that his or her identity will be revealed.

"As far as anonymity is concerned, I will not keep my identity shrouded in secrecy forever," Anonymous wrote Tuesday on Reddit. "I am not afraid to use my own name to express concern about the current occupant of the Oval Office. Donald Trump has not heard the last of me."

For more of Major's conversation with Reince Priebus, download "The Takeout" podcast on  iTunesGooglePlaySpotify and Stitcher. New episodes are available every Friday morning. Also, you can watch "The Takeout" on CBSN Friday at 5pm, 9pm, and 12am ET and Saturday at 1pm, 9pm, and 12am ET. For a full archive of "The Takeout" episodes, visit And you can listen to "The Takeout" on select CBS News Radio affiliates (check your local listings).  

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