Published: Fri, September 07, 2018
Worldwide | By Lisa Hogan

Trump demands the New York Times unmask the anonymous op-ed author

Trump demands the New York Times unmask the anonymous op-ed author

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.

President Trump Thursday suggested the anonymous op-ed author was a "low-level" staffer and said the betrayal was so disgusting that Democrats are feeling sorry for him.

Trump has spoken and written about the piece several times since its publication Wednesday.

Of the New York Times, he added: "They don't like Donald Trump and I don't like them because they're very dishonest people".

The Times op-ed, anonymously authored and published on Wednesday, sparked a firestorm in Washington and a tweet storm from the president, who simultaneously accused the author of "treason" while questioning whether he even exists.

James Dao, the newspaper's op-ed editor, said in the Times' daily podcast that while an intermediary brought him together with the author, he conducted a background check and spoke to the person to the point that he was "totally confident" in the identity.

Trump and the White House have responded by blasting both Woodward and The New York Times.

Nielsen, along with Pence and Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats were among the favorites on Thursday among gamblers trying their luck online at guessing the author.

"The Vice President puts his name on his Op-eds".

"When somebody writes and you can't discredit because you have no idea who they are", Trump said.

The piece comes in the wake of a testimony in Bob Woodward's book about the Trump White House - which includes claims that aides stole papers off his desk to prevent him from signing them. The former reality TV star has had an unusually high level of staff turnover, and has sometimes been publicly critical of his top aides.

In the Atlantic, David Frum, a Republican commentator who is a fierce critic of Mr Trump, called it a "constitutional crisis".

The Times piece called some of Trump's decisions "half-baked, ill-informed and occasionally reckless".

"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 article says.

According to The Washington Post, Barack Obama offered to Donald Trump in their only Oval Office meeting a warning about North Korea as a global threat.

White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders tried to shut down the speculation. "I am proud to serve as a member of President Trump's Cabinet to advocate on behalf of America's 30 million small businesses". "Stop", she wrote on Twitter.

"There will always be those. who see these developments as part of a Deep State conspiracy", he said. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin's spokesman, Tony Sayegh, said on Twitter it was "laughable to think this could come from the secretary". "The people closest to him have the gravest doubts".

But the Republican Party risks losing momentum ahead of the Nov 6 mid-terms, in which the Democrat Party will try and seize back a majority in the House of Representatives - something which historically, and on current polling, it has a good chance of doing. "Don't worry, we will win!" he tweeted earlier.

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