Donald Trump: 'Biggest' Mistake to Condemn White Supremacists After Charlottesville, Report Says

In the upcoming book about the Trump presidency titled Fear, penned by The Washington Post associate editor Bob Woodward, the president reportedly told White House aides that his condemnation of white nationalists responsible for the deadly 2017 Charlottesville rally was more than just a mistake.

"That was the biggest fucking mistake I've made" and the "worst speech I've ever given," Trump told aides, according to Woodward's book.

The 448-page book is based on Woodward's in-depth interviews with administration officials and those close to the president who spoke on condition of anonymity, in addition to notes, personal diaries and government documents.

The August 2017 Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, featured hundreds of neo-Nazis, alt-right groups and Klu Klux Klan members. One woman was killed after James Alex Fields Jr. allegedly drove his car into a group of counterprotesters, killing 32-year-old Heather Heyer and injuring many more.

Following the incident, the president failed to condemn the white nationalists. He initially told reporters in an interview at Trump Tower in New York there " were very fine people on both sides." He also said there was "blame on both sides" for the violence that led to Heyer's death.

Trump later condemned the white supremacists involved in the rally following two days of bipartisan backlash and at the urging of his advisers, according to Woodward.

"To anyone who acted criminally in this weekend's racist violence, you will be held fully accountable. Justice will be delivered," Trump said. "Racism is evil and those who cause violence in its name are criminals and thugs, including KKK, neo-Nazis, white supremacists, and other hate groups are repugnant to everything we hold dear as Americans."

But almost immediately following that statement, the president reportedly told aides the condemnation was the "biggest fucking mistake" and described it as the "worst speech" he's ever given.

Trump's former chief economic adviser Gary Cohn, who is Jewish, reportedly attempted to give his resignation letter to the president over the way he handled Charlottesville. The president reportedly called Cohn's resignation "treason" and convinced him to remain in his position, according to Woodward's book.

White House Chief of Staff John Kelly reportedly told Cohn that he shared his frustration over Trump's handling of Charlottesville.

"I would have taken that resignation letter and shoved it up his ass six different times," Kelly reportedly told Cohn, according to Woodward.

Cohn later resigned in March of this year over his disagreement with the president's choice to impose large tariffs on steel and aluminum imports.

Woodward's book also details various other encounters that Trump's aides and officials had with the president in attempts to control his impulses.

After Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad killed dozens of civilians in a chemical attack in April 2017, Trump reportedly told Defense Secretary Jim Mattis that he wanted the U.S. to go into Syria and "fucking kill him. Let's kill the fucking lot of them," the president said, according to Woodward.

Woodward wrote that Mattis told "close associates" that the "president acted like — and had the understanding of — 'a fifth- or sixth-grader.' "

Kelly is quoted as calling the president "an idiot" who has "gone off the rails."