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Trump hit with anonymous op-ed by senior official in New York Times

A senior Trump administration official wrote an opinion piece in The New York Times on Wednesday claiming to be part of a group of people “working diligently from within” to impede President Donald Trump

world Updated: Sep 07, 2018 14:37 IST
Yashwant Raj
Yashwant Raj
Hindustan Times, Washington
Donald Trump,The New York Times,NYT Op-ed
President Donald Trump comments on an opinion piece that a senior administration official published anonymously in the New York Times during an event with law enforcement personnel at the White House in Washington, Sept. 5, 2018. (NYT)

As Donald Trump struggled to deal with revelations about his government in an upcoming book, he was hit by an op-ed by an unidentified senior official who writes of “quiet resistance” within the administration to parts of the US president’s “agenda and his worst inclinations”.

The writer, whose identity has become the subject of intense speculation in the hours the op-ed ran in The New York Times, defends some of Trump’s agenda and says the administration should succeed, but worries “the president continues to act in a manner that is detrimental” to the country.

“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 writes, adding, “I would know. I am one of them.”

Trump administration officials working to save the presidency and the country from the president’s worst instincts reinforces the theme of Bob Woodward’s upcoming book “Fear: Trump in the White House”, that has had the president and his aides in knots since the pre-release publication of excerpts.

Woodward writes about senior officials stealing documents from the president’s desk to prevent him from signing orders that could be inimical to the national security of the country, or explaining patiently nuances of policies that betrayed he had the understanding of a “fifth or sixth grader”.

The president reacted, thus, with predictable rage to the op-ed. He slammed the publication in a tweet, using his pet pejorative for it “the Failing New York Times”, and called the writer “gutless” and asked if the “senior administration official” actually exists or is it another one of the media outlet’s “phony sources”.

”TREASON,” he wrote in a Twitter post.

Taking questions at a White House event, he said, “We have somebody in what I call the failing New York Times talking about his part of the resistance within the Trump administration. This is what we have to deal with. And you know, the dishonest media, because (turning to the participants of the event) you people have to deal with it as well as I do, it’s really a disgrace. I will say this: Nobody has done what this administration has done in terms of getting things passed, in terms of getting things through.”

The New York Times said it ran the anonymous op-ed, which it acknowledged was a rare step for it, at the writer’s request whose job would be in jeopardy if he was identified. The publication said the writer is a senior official in the Trump administration whose identity is known to them. “We believe publishing this essay anonymously is the only way to deliver an important perspective to our readers,” it said.

The unidentified writer covers a wide range of his frustrations with the president, including North Korea and Russia, details discussions on those issues that seem to point to the official being someone dealing with national security but that could e just the right cover.

First Published: Sep 06, 2018 11:08 IST