President Donald Trump has unleashed a blistering attack on the New York Times and questioned whether the senior White House official behind an anonymous op-ed published Wednesday really exists.
‘Does the so-called ‘Senior Administration Official’ really exist, or is it just the Failing New York Times with another phony source?’ Trump tweeted hours after the newspaper published a brutal opinion essay written by one of his staffers.
‘If the GUTLESS anonymous person does indeed exist, the Times must, for National Security purposes, turn him/her over to government at once!’
An hour earlier, Trump tweeted a single word: ‘TREASON?’
The op-ed describes the president as ‘impetuous, adversarial, petty and ineffective’ and says the author is part of an organized ‘resistance’ whose goal is ‘to preserve our democratic institutions while thwarting [President] Trump’s more misguided impulses until he is out of office.’
During a White House event with a group of sheriffs, Trump called the op-ed ‘gutless’ and suggested the writer is ‘probably… failing and probably here for all the wrong reasons.’
Separately, White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said in a statement that the essay was ‘pathetic, reckless, and selfish’ and challenged the Times to ‘issue an apology.’
‘This is just another example of the liberal media’s concerted effort to discredit the President,’ she said.
Sanders said the unidentified writer chose ‘to deceive, rather than support, the duly elected President of the United States. He is not putting country first, but putting himself and his ego ahead of the will of the American people. This coward should do the right thing and resign.’
But Trump focused equally on the ‘dishonest media’ – specifically the Times, a paper he claims is ‘failing’ despite its steady growth in subscribers since he took office.
‘The New York Times is failing. If I weren’t here, I believe The New York Times probably wouldn’t even exist,’ he said, later adding: ‘They don’t like Donald Trump and I don’t like them because they’re very dishonest people.’
The Times described Wednesday’s move as ‘rare,’ leaving open the possibility that its editorial board has masked the names of op-ed writers in the past.
The identity of the mystery scribe, Washington’s new ‘Deep Throat,’ will become the stuff of cocktail party chatter and Twitterati sleuths for weeks.
But in a tweet the Times described the person as a male, saying ‘he and others’ are working together behind the scenes of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.
A Times spokeswoman later told Business Insider that the pronoun was a mistake that shouldn’t be read as a tip-off.
‘Senior opinion editors know the identity of the official, as we pointed out in our editor’s note,’ Danielle Ha said in an email. ‘The tweet was drafted by someone who is not aware of the author’s identity, including the gender, so the use of ‘he’ was an error.’
Online chatter Wednesday quickly focused on Vice President Mike Pence as armchair language analysts focused on one line describing the late Sen. John McCain as ‘a lodestar for restoring honor to public life and our national dialogue.’
That word – lodestar – is a favorite of the vice president. But a senior White House official told DailyMail.com that suspicion is not focused on him or anyone in his office following a frank discussion among the VP’s senior staff.
The official suspects ‘lodestar’ was purposely included in the op-ed to throw journalists off the scent.
In an online introduction, the Times says the author’s ‘identity is known to us’ and the person’s ‘job would be jeopardized by its disclosure. We believe publishing this essay anonymously is the only way to deliver an important perspective to our readers.’
The essay describes a ‘quiet resistance’ that by its nature has remained secret but isn’t designed to bring Trump down – only to curb his worst impulses.
‘Ours is not the popular ‘resistance’ of the left,’ the author writes. ‘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.’
So rather than risk the invocation of the Constitution’s 25th Amendment, the prescribed route for removing a president, he boasts that ‘we will do what we can to steer the administration in the right direction until – one way or another – it’s over.’
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Source: Daily Mail