US President Donald Trump's lawyers are attempting to block publication of a controversial new book which makes a series of embarrassing claims about life within the White House.
The US president's lawyers have also launched legal action against his former adviser Steve Bannon after the pair had a spectacular public fallout over comments he had made within the explosive book.
In a letter Mr Trump's attorney, Charles J Harder, demanded the book's publisher Henry Holt and Co "immediately cease and desist from any further publication, release or dissemination of the book" or excerpts and summaries of its contents.
The lawyers have also requested a full copy of the book as part of their investigation, the Washington Post reported.
The US president's lawyers have also written to Bannon, the former Trump campaign chief and White House adviser, accusing him of defaming the president.
The White House announced yesterday morning that it was banning staff from using personal phones in the West Wing, fearing further leaks to the press.
Sarah Sanders, the White House Press Secretary, said: "Starting next week the use of all personal devices for both guests and staff will no longer be allowed in the West Wing. Staff will be able to conduct business on their government-issued devices and continue working hard on behalf of the American people."
The move came after Bannon was quoted extensively in extracts of a new book by journalist Michael Wolff about Trump, which included a string of embarrassing allegations.
Bannon is quoted as calling a meeting Trump's son Donald Jr had with the Russians "treacherous" and "unpatriotic" and saying his daughter Ivanka was as "dumb as a brick".
Other claims in the book – which has been strongly rebutted by the White House – include that Trump thought he would lose the election and dyes his hair.
Trump's attorney Charles Harder of the firm Harder Mirell & Abrams LLP wrote a letter to Bannon informing him of the legal action.
A statement from the attorney added that Bannon was in "breach of his written confidentiality and non-disparagement agreement with our clients" and said legal action is "imminent".
Meanwhile Bannon pledged his support to Trump in his first public comments since the row erupted as he spoke on Breitbart News Tonight, broadcast on Sirius XM radio.
"The president of the United States is a great man. You know I support him day in and day out," Bannon said.
Trump later said to reporters on Bannon: "He called me a great man last night. So he obviously changed his tune pretty quick. I don't talk to him ... that's just a misnomer."
The legal action marks a new low point in the relationship between Bannon, the man most credited with getting Trump into the White House, and the president.
Bannon joined the US administration alongside Trump but left in August 2016 to campaign through his right-wring website Breitbart News after clashing with other aides.
The legal action comes the day after Trump publicly disowned Bannon after revelations from the book, called Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House, became public.
Trump said Bannon had "lost his mind" and "has nothing to do with me or my presidency".
Other allegations have begun to emerge on Thursday from the book, which is not released until next week.
It is claimed Mark Corallo, a former spokesman for Trump's personal legal team, quit because he feared a controversial meeting on Air Force One amounted to obstruction of justice.
The statement was about what the White House should say regarding a controversial Trump Tower meeting where senior campaign figures met people with Russian links before the election.
Obstruction of justice is one of the grounds for launching impeachment proceedings – the process through which a president can be removed from office by Congress.
The book also claims that a string of senior Trump figures made disparaging remarks about the president's intellect, often in the crudest terms.
Aides Steve Mnuchin and Reince Priebus allegedly believed he was an "idiot", national security adviser HR McMaster thought he was a "dope" and economic aide Gary Cohn considered him "dumb as s***", according to the book.
The White House hit back against the book in the strongest terms on Wednesday, issuing a blanket rebuttal and warning people not to believe the claims.
Sarah Sanders, the White House press secretary, said: "This book is filled with false and misleading accounts from individuals who have no access or influence with the White House.
"Participating in a book that can only be described as trashy tabloid fiction exposes their sad desperate attempts at relevancy."
There are also political consequences to the fallout between Trump and Bannon, who has been running a campaign to defeat mainstream Republicans since leaving office.
Firebrand Republican candidates who had been endorsed by Bannon in their quest to defeat more mainstream candidates for Congress seats distanced themselves from him.
Michael Grimm, who is considering running for a New York seat, tweeted:
Kelli Ward, who is seeking to defeat mainstream Republicans for the Arizona senate seat, said:
Other allegations have also emerged about members of Trump's inner circle from the book, which was based on interviews with more than 200 people.
It is claimed Corey Lewandowski, the now married former Trump campaign manager, dated Hope Hicks, Trump's communications director.
It is also alleged that Trump called Sally Yates, a female acting attorney general, "such a c***" after she refused to endorse his immigration ban.