"What's unfair, I don't mind when they write a book and they make lies because it gets discredited", he told Pete Hegseth, adding that it's challenging "when somebody writes and you can't discredit because you have no idea who they are".
On Wednesday night, Trump tweeted a demand that if "the GUTLESS anonymous person does indeed exist, the Times must, for National Security purposes, turn him/her over to government at once!"
President Donald Trump on Friday slammed investigative journalist Bob Woodward's damning portrayal of the inner workings of the USA president's administration as a "scam", alleging that it includes made-up quotes. The unidentified official gave the piece to the Times and then sneaked back to work, hoping not to be uncovered later by a livid president.
But Trump also told reporters that he was poised to dramatically escalate a trade war with China - implementing tariffs on an additional $267 billion in Chinese goods - that economists said could potentially affect the US economy if a deal is not worked out with the world's second-largest economy.
White House officials slammed the author of the Op-Ed, members of Trump's cabinet denied writing it, and Trump lashed out at the New York Times on Twitter.
"The way you respond to Michael Wolfe is not the same way to respond to Bob Woodward, who I think has written books about nine presidents now", Stelter laughed.
"We see the evidence of people stealing a presidential document off his desk", Kerry said, referencing Woodward's reporting. "Much better than before I took office", Trump tweeted.
On Wednesday, The New York Times ran an op-ed from an anonymous writer with the headline, "I am part of the resistance inside the Trump Administration".
He said the scoop from the op-ed is essentially "Trump's not nice". "When the president calls him an idiot and suggests he made up sources, that actually says more about the president than Woodward".
He said that unsent tweet was the most risky moment of Trump's standoff with North Korea.
"The Woodward book is a scam", Trump tweeted Friday.
In a statement, a New York Times spokeswoman said the paper is "confident that the Department of Justice understands that the First Amendment protects all American citizens and that it would not participate in such a blatant abuse of government power".
The Sunday shows surfaced top-level denials from Trump officials.
Former economic adviser Gary Cohn was in the same predicament when he learned that Mr. Trump was going to sign a letter withdrawing the United States from a trade agreement with South Korea.
Ryan also shrugged off any of the concerns expressed by the author as well as several other GOP lawmakers who have been critical of the president's fitness for office.