In the article, the anonymous writer slams the USA president, claims to be part of the “resistance” against Trump to “thwart” his “more misguided impulses”, and even reveals that cabinet members once considered using the 25th Amendment to remove Trump from office.
We’re also joined by the intelligence analyst Sebastian Gorka – a former advisor to the Trump Administration in 2017.
MSNBC’s Nicolle Wallace said on Wednesday the stunning claims made in the anonymous op-ed – for example, that there is a group of “adults” in the White House who believe Trump is unfit to hold office and are trying to shape policy behind the president’s back – are akin to “a coup”.
Nancy Ancrum, the editorial board editor at the Miami Herald, said she only remembers one instance in which her paper ran an anonymous piece: about 15 years ago, the Herald published a letter from an unnamed woman who had been sexually assaulted as a child.
A livid Trump questioned whether the author is a legitimate administration official, but also demanded that the Times out him or her and suggested that the person should be investigated.
Hours later, President Trump rebutted this preposterous allegation – by ordering the newspaper to turn the op-ed writer “over to government at once!”
In it, the author criticises Trump’s moral compass and claimed that members of the administration were working to “frustrate parts of [Trump’s] agenda and his worst inclinations”.
“You should not be lapping up the benefits of being a senior administration official, no doubt while scouting for lucrative opportunities for when you leave your post”, she said.
The Times said revealing the author’s identity would put his or her job in jeopardy. The op-ed pages of the newspaper are managed separately from its news department. “But no one wanted to precipitate a constitutional crisis”.
The first lady said that anonymous sources were hurting news coverage across the board.
The White House accused the media of having a “wild obsession” with the author’s identity, but the president himself appeared to be fixated on it. The book said Defense Secretary James Mattis has purposely not acted on a presidential directive to assassinate Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad, and that former Trump economic adviser Gary Cohn once removed a document from the president’s desk that would have ended a trade deal with South Korea.
Ryan countered the issue of Trump’s earlier fiscal 2018 omnibus veto threat by saying it ultimately never materialized – even against Trump’s constant rhetoric and apparent willingness to provoke a shutdown.
Trump repeated the headline and said “this is what we have to deal with” during freewheeling remarks in front of the press at an event for sheriffs from around the country.
The president concluded that the statements refuted Woodward’s book, and noted the “timing” of the release, though it was unclear what he meant by that.
Robert Leonard, a linguist at New York’s Hofstra University, who is often retained by defendants and prosecutors in criminal cases involving threats, plagiarism and libel, told the Washington Post: “A problem with public people is that a lot of their published work is edited, so it’s like mixing fingerprints or DNA”.
A senior official in the White House has written an “extraordinary” essay claiming staff are actively trying to thwart Donald Trump.