The anonymity dilemma: New York Times rivals react to explosive op-ed

Rosalie Gross
September 7, 2018

Donald Trump is determined to find the identity of the anonymous staff member who penned a scathing op-ed, and he reportedly will try to have the writer arrested once they are discovered.

First lady Melania gave a rare outspoken criticism Thursday by calling out the White House official who attacked President Trump anonymously in print, accusing the person of subversion. "[Donald Trump] has a clear governing vision for the country and his record of results is remarkable". Judge Kavanaugh's appearance has been notable for his dodging questions on presidential powers, Roe vs. Wade, and whether he would recuse himself from any potential cases involving President Trump.

"You are not protecting this country, you are sabotaging it with your cowardly actions", she wrote.

A spokesman for Mr Pence said the vice-president does not write anonymous opinion columns.

Let's just hope this saga doesn't end like this. Some of the language in the article, including the use of the unusual word "lodestar", was the subject of wide online speculation and language searches.

Buzzfeed News reported that Pompeo, the U.S. Secretary of State, had denied writing the piece.

A "good number" of White House officials privately admitted to Axios that they view Trump as unstable - "and at times dangerously slow".

The bombshell op-ed was written by "a senior official in the Trump administration whose identity is known to us and whose job would be jeopardized by its disclosure", according to the Times. "He will stay. We're very happy with him, we're having a lot of victories, we are having victories that people don't even know about, and he is highly respected all over the world", the president said.

Pompeo criticized Times for publishing the piece, saying it "shouldn't surprise anyone" that the "liberal" newspaper chose to print it.

Trump Says Jeff Sessions' Job Is Safe, Until November Anyway
The president also said that the only reason he named Sessions attorney general was the former Alabama senator's early support in the 2016 presidential election.

The author wrote that there was a resistance working within the administration to thwart the president's worst impulses.

White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders echoed Trump's remarks in an official statement, saying voters in 2016 did not choose a "gutless, anonymous source to the failing New York Times".

Trump lambasted The Times and the op-ed's author, whom he described as someone "who's failing and probably here for all the wrong reasons", during a speech at the White House on Wednesday.

"The idea I ever called the president an idiot is not true", the White House chief of staff said, reiterating that he has "an incredibly candid and strong relationship".

Trump lashed out in characteristic fashion, and the Times even ran a story about the op-ed and the ensuing fallout on its front page on Thursday. She said the writer should resign from the administration.

"It would depend upon: who is the Deep Throat here?" she added.

Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue said through a spokesman that he was not the author, as did Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Andrew Wheeler and Huntsman, also through representatives.

The book claims that after Syrian President Bashar al-Assad ordered chemical weapons to be used against civilians in April of previous year, Trump called Mattis and said he wanted to assassinate Assad. We want the administration to succeed and think that many of its policies have already made America safer and more prosperous.

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