Thursday (Sept 6) saw over 20 top Trump officials scramble to deny authorship of an op-ed in the New York Times - by an anonymous "senior administration official" - stating in essence that officials have been working quietly to circumvent and rein in an uninformed and capricious President.
Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue said through a spokesman that he was not the author, as did Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Andrew Wheeler and Huntsman, also through representatives. Only this time the stakes are allegedly much higher.
Trump is no stranger to bad press at this point - you may have even heard him complain about it from time to time - but he's really got his hands full this week, as the op-ed declaring an active "resistance" within his ranks came just days after very unflattering excerpts were released from Pulitzer Prize victor Bob Woodward's upcoming book "Fear: Trump in the White House", spurring President Trump to call for stricter libel laws on Wednesday.
Among the anecdotes, former top economic adviser Gary CohnGary David CohnAnonymous attack on Trump roils White House CNN: Trump searching for Woodward sources in White House The Hill's Morning Report - Sponsored by Better Medicare Alliance - Day Two: Kavanaugh to spar with hostile Democrats MORE is reported to have removed paperwork, unnoticed, from Trump's desk that the president meant to sign to withdraw the USA from trade agreements.
A spokesperson for US Vice-President Mike Pence has dismissed claims that he wrote the op-ed, describing it as "false, illogical and gutless". Impeachment - not "frenzy, mutiny and rumors" - is the antidote to Trump's criminal unfitness for public service, he added.
Yet senior GOP lawmakers rejected the idea that the op-ed would damage Trump, insisting instead that it would help him during the midterms and in the 2020 presidential election.
The tactic echoed something Trump did during the 2016 campaign, when he retaliated against Republican Sen.
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"When you think about it it's an incredible statement of their willingness to make themselves bigger than the entire American system", Gingrich said.
Trump, speaking at the White House last night, blasted the anonymous report as "gutless" and "really a disgrace".
Meanwhile, a number of senior officials have denied being the anonymous writer, including vice president Mike Pence, secretary of state Mike Pompeo, defence secretary Jim Mattis and director of national intelligence Dan Coats.
White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders released a statement in which she described the piece as "a new low for the so-called paper of record'". The op-ed reinforced the book's disturbing portrait of a vain, venal, volatile man who has a vague relationship with the truth in a nation's capital that has become "crazytown". "Anonymous leaking won't take down Trump". "To be clear in this op-ed, the writer claims when you talk about taxes when you talk about deregulation and the military that he or she agrees with the president on that matter".
The newspaper maintains a strict policy of separation between its news and opinion side, and the decision to publish the column without identifying the author was made by Dao and his boss, Editorial Page Editor James Bennet, in consultation with Publisher A.G. Sulzberger. Here are CNN's 13 most likely candidates.
According to Lewandoski, he believes that the author is a holdover from the former Democratic administration which caused host Berman to laugh. "What is the point of a secret cabal if you don't keep it secret?". "And I think it gets held against them in the biggest possible way".
Before the rally, Trump suggested the Times' decision to publish the anonymous op-ed was a crime.