"The dilemma - which [the president] does not fully grasp - is that numerous senior officials in his own administration are working diligently from within to frustrate parts of his agenda and his worst inclinations", wrote the official.
Woodward, whose new book "Fear: Trump in the White House" hits book stores on Tuesday, described the incident in the interview with CBS as the most unsafe moment of Trump's nuclear standoff with North Korea.
"While I generally enjoy reading fiction, this is a uniquely Washington brand of literature, and his anonymous sources do not lend credibility", the defence secretary had said.
The Author of the @nytimes OP-Ed about Trump?
"You look at the operation of this White House and you have to say, 'Let's hope to God we don't have a crisis, '" Woodward said in an interview that aired Sunday on "CBS Sunday Morning". Anyone who has the ability to think independently and logically knows that everything President Trump has proposed since becoming President is a GOOD thing and is in keeping with his campaign promises, so anything the author proposed that was contrary to what the president wants, must be bad.
It wasn't long before the piece titled 'I Am Part of the Resistance Inside the Trump Administration' got the attention of the target of its ire. "The relationship has nowhere to go but down, fast", the official said.
The White House immediately slammed the piece and called on the person who authored it to resign.
President Trump is said to be in a volcanic rage over the story.
Woodward said that his reporting on this White House took him "in the belly of the beast". True Senior Advisor Kellyanne Conway told reporters Saturday that she believes the leak came from within the Trump Administration's national security apparatus.
In the early days of the administration, the president and some of his aides repeatedly pressed then-FBI Director James Comey and other law enforcement officials to investigate not just leaks of classified information but also disclosures of unclassified, nonsensitive information, according to people familiar with the discussions.
The text of the op-ed was pulled apart for clues.
Trump also called the publication "gutless" on Twitter.
Woodward has covered nine presidencies and written 19 books.
Trump, in fact, used the term "mentally retarded" during a 2004 appearance on "The Howard Stern Show" when discussing a conversation he had with an unnamed "golf pro" about how much he should make for hosting his NBC reality series, "The Apprentice".
As the plot thickened in an already over-the-top administration, Trump allies and political insiders joined the mad scramble to unmask the writer.