Trump addresses 'gutless' White House mole behind anonymous article

Arturo Kim
September 7, 2018

Other Republicans cast the author of the op-ed as a renegade whose anonymous status undercut any credibility.

The US President fired back at the piece and its "gutless" author, demanding they be exposed for "national security purposes". "The @nytimes should be ashamed and so should the person who wrote the false, illogical, and gutless op-ed", Pence's spokesman Jarrod Agen wrote on Twitter. Those distancing themselves from the column have included the vice-president, Mike Pence, and the secretary of state, Mike Pompeo, along with much of Trump's cabinet.

He also attributed the op-ed to the "deep state", writing on Twitter, "The Deep State and the Left, and their vehicle, the Fake News Media, are going insane - & they don't know what to do". Some who agreed with the writer's points suggested the President's reaction actually confirmed the author's concerns.

Trump and his inner circle have been in damage control all week fighting similarly themed revelations contained in Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Bob Woodward's upcoming book, "Fear: Trump in the White House".

A former Central Intelligence Agency director, John Brennan, who has been strongly critical of Mr Trump, called the article "active insubordination" although he said it was "born out of loyalty to the country". Melania is concerned about how Donald is going to hold up, and with good reason.

"They don't like Donald Trump and I don't like them because they're very dishonest people", the president told reporters.

The coup of publishing a column by an anonymous Trump administration official bashing the boss could backfire on The New York Times if the author is unmasked and turns out to be a little-known person, or if the newspaper's own reporters solve the puzzle.

"In a statement, she called it a "pathetic, reckless and selfish op-ed" and said: "[The author] is not putting his country first, but putting himself and his ego ahead of the will of the people.

While speculation ran rampant, administration officials began denying it. Pence's office issued a forceful statement, saying the vice president puts his name on opinions.

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The editorial was published as the White House was contending with yet another firestorm.

With many prominent administration members delivering on-the-record denials, the focus could now fall on other senior aides to do the same, with questions raised about those who stay silent.

"TREASON?" Trump asked in a furious volley of tweets.

The author goes on to speak about Trump's "amorality" being at the root of the problem and calls the president's impulses "anti-democratic".

The piece described a "two-track" presidency in which Trump says one thing and his staff consciously does another, citing the president's alleged preference "for autocrats and dictators".

"Nothing in this town stays secret forever, and so ultimately I do think we will find out who is the author", he said.

The Times said the writer is a senior administration official whose job would be at risk if the person's identity were to be made public.

"I don't really know what's going on in the White House. but it seems to me from outside it's open-ended down there, that there's no confidentiality and not a lot of loyalty down there with a lot of people", he said.

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