Trump White House hunts for author of anonymous NYT op-ed

Trump White House hunts for author of anonymous NYT op-ed

"There's nothing in the piece that strikes me as being relevant to or undermining the national security", Dao said. "Our office is above such amateur acts".

McMahon isn't the only one to deny that she wrote the article either.

Mr Coats said in a statement that speculation that he or his principle deputy wrote the piece was "patently false".

The writer of the Times op-ed said Trump aides are aware of the president's faults and "many of the senior officials in his own administration are working diligently from within to frustrate parts of his agenda and his worst inclinations".

The official described a "two-track" presidency in which Trump says one thing and his staff consciously does another, for example with regard to what he called Trump's "preference for autocrats and dictators".

In it, the writer says there are "bright spots that the near-ceaseless negative coverage of the administration fails to capture: effective deregulation, historic tax reform, a more robust military and more".

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.

Showing her trademark ability to attract attention, former administration official Omarosa Manigault Newman tweeted that clues about the writer's identity were in her recently released tell-all book, offering a page number: 330.

A furious Trump responded by questioning whether the author even existed, and said that if the person does exist, the writer is "gutless" and must be outed for national security purposes.

It caused a political firestorm and drew the president's immediate ire, with Trump tweeting that it was "GUTLESS" and demanding that the Times "turn him/her over to government at once".

House Speaker Paul Ryan told reporters that "if you're not interested in helping the president, you shouldn't work for the president as far as I'm concerned".

Within hours of the essay appearing on the paper's website, the mystery of the writer's identity began to rival the Watergate-era hunt for "Deep Throat" in Washington, and a parade of Trump team members issued statements Thursday saying, in effect, "it's not me".

"That's a problem", Ingraham said. Meadows is the chairman of a House subcommittee that oversees the president's executive office and a founder of conservative Freedom Caucus. "So we will do what we can to steer the administration in the right direction until - one way or another - it's over". "In South Carolina, when the New York Times speaks, most people don't listen".

Conversations with editors at some of the country's most prominent newspapers underscored the unique nature of the decision the Times faced, and the competing factors that any publication would navigate before deciding to publish. The MSNBC contributor claimed that Trump wants to arrest whoever it is that wrote the piece, though it is not clear what charges could be brought against someone for sharply criticizing the president. She also accuses the individual of putting himself or herself ahead of the will of the American people.

"I'm not sure it matters", Conway said.

It was noteworthy, though, that much of the Trump administration's response focused on the New York Times and the media - and not the substance of the op-ed.

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