WASHINGTON: U.S. President Donald Trump said Friday the Department of Justice should find out who penned a scathing anonymous op-ed in the New York Times that has sent shockwaves through the administration.
“I would say Jeff should be investigating who the author of that piece was because I really believe it’s national security,” Trump told reporters onboard Air Force One, referring to Attorney General Jeff Sessions.
The unknown official behind the editorial acknowledges that he or she is part of a group “working diligently from within to frustrate parts of his agenda and his worst inclinations,” referring to Trump. The comments appear to corroborate parts of a forthcoming book the administration has sought to dismiss as “fiction,” frustrating its efforts to do so.
“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,” the official wrote. “That is why 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 kept the official’s identity under wraps but said it knows who he or she is.
Following the op-ed’s publication on Wednesday a long line of senior Trump administration officials have come out publicly to deny they are behind it, including Vice President Mike Pence.
Speculation had mounted online that the official is Pence due to the author’s use of the word “lodestar,” an uncommon term the vice president has used numerous times in the past.
Asked if legal action should be taken against the Times, Trump said he is looking into the possibility in addition to seeking to uncover who wrote the opinion piece. “We’re going to take a look at what he had, what he gave, what he’s talking about, also where he is right now,” Trump said Friday. He called on the Times on Thursday to name the individual, but the storied newspaper has not complied. (AA)