Donald Trump is "furious" with his one-time chief of staff Mark Meadows for alleging in his new book that the former president had tested positive for the coronavirus days earlier than it was officially disclosed.
A source who is "familiar with the president's thinking" told CNN's Gloria Borger that Mr Trump is "furious about what is in the book".
The former president is reportedly "angry with Mark Meadows".
Mr Meadows in his new book The Chief’s Chief claimed that the former president tested positive for Covid-19 three days before his first debate against Democrat presidential candidate Joe Biden.
A White House doctor tried to stop Mr Trump from going to a rally in Pennsylvania when they learned about his report, according to an excerpt from the book reported by The Guardian.
Mr Trump was then given a second test with a more up-to-date kit that showed he was negative and he decided to keep the previous report a secret.
Eventually, he received a second positive test result and announced his report on 2 October, three days after sharing the stage with Mr Biden.
He, however, within hours denied the report and called it "fake news". “The story of me having COVID prior to, or during, the first debate is fake news. In fact, a test revealed that I did not have Covid prior to the debate," Mr Trump said in a statement.
The Republican leader had previously praised Mr Meadows’s book and urged his supporters to pre-order it. “If you want to learn about politics, truth, our great administration, and exciting achievements that took place in government, pre-order your copy now,” he said.
The former White House chief of staff then soon walked back on his claim and retweeted Mr Trump's statement. In an interview with Newsmax, Mr Meadows said: "well, the president’s right, it’s fake news".
"If you actually read the context of the book ... that story outlined a false positive," he added.
Antony Fauci, chief medical adviser to president Joe Biden, who had also served under the Trump administration, said he did not know about the former president’s test.
“I certainly was not aware of his test positivity or negativity. I’m not going to specifically talk about who put who at risk,” Mr Fauci said at a briefing on Wednesday.
Mr Meadows subsequently downplaying his claim in the new book is being seen as a bid to stay in his former boss' good books amid speculations of him running for the White House again in 2024.
He is also cooperating with lawmakers on the House select committee investigating the 6 January attack on the US Capitol. Mr Trump has derided it as an attempt to embarrass him and urged his allies to defy the panel.
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