President Donald Trump has instructed Attorney General Jeff Sessions to find the author of an anonymous op-ed published in The New York Times last week. The piece, purportedly written by a senior administration official, claims several administration officials are actively working to thwart President Trump’s agenda.
“President Trump is facing a test to his presidency unlike any faced by a modern American leader. It’s not just that the special counsel looms large. Or that the country is bitterly divided over Mr. Trump’s leadership. Or even that his party might well lose the House to an opposition hellbent on his downfall,” the author writes.
“The dilemma — which he does not fully grasp — is that many of the senior officials in his own administration are working diligently from within to frustrate parts of his agenda and his worst inclinations. I would know. I am one of them.”
The author goes on to draw a distinction between the popular “Resist” movement propagated by political liberals and what they see as taking place inside the administration.
“To be clear, ours is not the popular ‘resistance’ of the left,” they write. “We want the administration to succeed and think that many of its policies have already made America safer and more prosperous. But we believe our first duty is to this country, and the president continues to act in a manner that is detrimental to the health of our republic.”
“That is why many Trump appointees have vowed to do what we can to preserve our democratic institutions while thwarting Mr. Trump’s more misguided impulses until he is out of office.”
Many of the President Trump’s top cabinet officials, including Vice President Pence and Secretary of Defense James Mattis, have already issued denials penning the piece. White House Chief of Staff John Kelly has also denied being the author.
The President has harshly criticized it calling the article “treason” and the writer “gutless.”
“It doesn’t seem to be anybody very high up because everybody very high up has already said, ‘It wasn’t me,’” the President has said. “It would be very hard if it was, if they got caught.”
The President is urging Attorney General Jeff Sessions to look into it. “I would say Jeff should be investigating who the author of that piece was because I really believe it’s national security,” Trump told reporters aboard Air Force One.
The Department of Justice would not make a statement citing standing policy against commenting on investigations.
The President said he is also considering taking action against The New York Times. “I’m looking at that right now,” he said.
He also called their decision to publish the op-ed a “disgrace” and reiterated calls for tougher libel laws. “Our libel laws should be toughened up so that if somebody writes things that are fraudulent and false, they get sued and they lose,” he said.
Photo by Department of Defense