WASHINGTON — A senior administration official sounded an alarm Wednesday about President Donald Trump’s “amorality” and “impetuous” leadership style in an unsigned opinion piece published in The New York Times. Trump swiftly responded, calling it a “gutless editorial” and “really a disgrace.”
The writer, claiming to be part of the “resistance” to Trump but not from the left, says, “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.”
The newspaper described the author of the anonymous column as “a senior official in the Trump administration.”
The publication of the op-ed immediately triggered a wild guessing game as to the author’s identity on social media, in newsrooms and inside the West Wing, where officials were blindsided by its publication.
It was not immediately clear what, if any, steps were being taken by the White House to attempt to unmask the writer.
The column was released a day after the release of details from an explosive new book by longtime journalist Bob Woodward that raises concerns among the highest echelon of Trump aides about the president’s judgment.
The writer of the Times op-ed said Trump aides are aware of the president’s faults and “are trying to do what’s right even when Donald Trump won’t.”
The writer also alleged “there were early whispers within the cabinet of invoking the 25th Amendment” because of the “instability” witnessed in the president. The 25th Amendment allows the vice president to take over if the commander in chief is “unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office.”
The writer adds: “This isn’t the work of the so-called deep state. It’s the work of the steady state.”
Trump lashed out at the Times for publishing the op-ed during an event with sheriffs at the White House on Wednesday afternoon.
“They don’t like Donald Trump and I don’t like them,” he said of the newspaper.
White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders issued the following statement in response to the piece:
“Nearly 62 million people voted for President Donald J. Trump in 2016, earning him 306 Electoral College votes – versus 232 for his opponent. None of them voted for a gutless, anonymous source to the failing New York Times. We are disappointed, but not surprised, that the paper chose to publish this pathetic, reckless, and selfish op-ed. This is a new low for the so-called “paper of record,” and it should issue an apology, just as it did after the election for its disastrous coverage of the Trump campaign. This is just another example of the liberal media’s concerted effort to discredit the President.
President Trump has laid out a bold and ambitious agenda. Every day since taking office, he has fulfilled the promises he made. His accomplishments in less than two years have been astounding.
The individual behind this piece has chosen 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.”