On Trump's White House Op-Ed 'Witch Hunt', His Wife's Response


White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders encouraged Americans to flood the New York Times switchboard in protest over an anonymous op-ed from a member of the Trump Administration.

Because of the inherent ambiguity of anonymity - the term "senior administration official" could apply to hundreds, not all close to the President - and the New York Times' antagonistic relationship with the President, the op-ed has poured fuel on the narratives of both sides of the political divide, either confirming a Deep State conspiracy to destroy the President, or confirming that he is unfit for office.

On Twitter, Trump charged "The Deep State and the Left, and their vehicle, the Fake News Media, are going insane - & they don't know what to do".

"A wounded lion is a very unsafe animal, and I think Donald Trump is wounded".

On the Internet and in Washington, a guessing game has raged over who the author might be, prompting almost every cabinet-ranked member of the government to deny it was them. Those distancing themselves from the column have included the vice-president, Mike Pence, and the secretary of state, Mike Pompeo, along with much of Trump's cabinet.

A spokesman for Vice President Mike Pence said that he "puts his name on" expressions of his opinion. But he or she also tries to be reassuring: "It may be cold comfort in this chaotic era, but Americans should know that there are adults in the room".

Lewandowski then inferred that the writer is part of the "deep state" - meaning career government employees - after which Berman had to point out that writer appears to be a high-ranking Trump appointee.

On Wednesday evening, before demanding that the Times unmask the writer, Trump tweeted one word: "TREASON?" She praised the free press as "important to our democracy" but assailed the writer, saying, "You are not protecting this country, you are sabotaging it with your cowardly actions".

The opinion piece, and Woodward's book, which is published next week, follow many news articles during Trump's 19-month presidency that have depicted turbulence at the White House under his leadership.

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The editorial section, which is separate from the news section, would not have published an anonymous op-ed without the consent of the publisher and a consensus among editorial page editors that the views expressed about President Trump needed to be heard.

UN Ambassador Nikki Haley told reporters she was not the author.

"He's fought in more ways than one for your state", the president said of Gianforte, who pleaded guilty to a charge of misdemeanor assault after body-slamming Jacobs on the day before he was elected to the US Congress. At the same time, I can't say whether we would have done it or not, so I don't want to sound churlish.

The Times said the writer is a senior administration official whose job would be at risk if the person's identity were to be made public.

Trump called the book a "pack of lies".

Pompeo said during a trip to India that he was not the author and condemned the Times for publishing it, while Pentagon spokeswoman Dana White said Mattis did not write the piece.

Speaking with Hannity on his program, former Republican House Speaker Newt Gingrich said that the anonymous author had "repudiated our whole constitutional process".

President Trump often refers to the "fake news media" and has called for restrictions on the press.