Trump suggests anonymous author was a 'low-level' staffer

07 September, 2018, 09:49 | Author: Angel Logan
  • Donald Trump and Bashar al-Assad

Donald Trump on Thursday (Sep 6) called on the New York Times to reveal the name of the "coward" who wrote an explosive, anonymous article that has plunged his presidency into its worst crisis yet.

"There's nothing in the piece that strikes me as being relevant to or undermining the national security", Dao said. He called the opinion piece "sad".

Vice President Mike Pence also denied writing the opinion piece. "Our office is above such amateur acts", wrote Jarrod Agen, spokesman for Mike Pence.

"We're doing this in order to prevent World War III", Defense Secretary Jim Mattis reportedly replied thinly.

Sen. Richard C. Shelby (R-Ala.), chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, said the op-ed highlighted loyalty issues among staffers more than Trump's shortcomings.

The article cited a tax overhaul, deregulation and a more robust military among the administration's achievements, but added: "These successes have come despite - not because of - the president's leadership style, which is impetuous, adversarial, petty and ineffective".

First Lady Melania Trump released a statement about the anonymous New York Times op-ed piece in which she accused the unidentified writer of being "cowardly" and "sabotaging" the country.

He continued: "If the GUTLESS anonymous person does indeed exist, the Times must, for National Security purposes, turn him/her over to government at once!"

During a campaign appearance in Billings, Montana, Trump also praised Greg Gianforte, the Republican congressman who physically attacked the Guardian reporter Ben Jacobs a year ago, as "a fighter and a winner". The official is "probably here for all the wrong reasons", Trump continued, and then vowed that he would win re-election in 2020. "It contained some news - namely, that there has been talk inside the administration about invoking the 25th Amendment", Pritchard told CNN. That measure defines methods to legally remove a president from office. 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 piece reports, "So we will do what we can to steer the administration in the right direction until - one way or another - it's over".

"But the real difference will be made by everyday citizens rising above politics, reaching across the aisle and resolving to shed the labels in favour of a single one: Americans".

That would be a problem for the Times, partly through no fault of its own, said Kathleen Hall Jamieson, communications professor and director of the Annenberg Public Policy Center at the University of Pennsylvania. She called the story's publication "another example of the liberal media's concerted effort to discredit the President". The column attracted so much attention - as much for its existence as for what it actually said - that it raised the expectation that the author is someone powerful, she said.

Mr Trump described his administration as a "well-oiled machine", a contrast to the description offered by his anonymous colleague in the Times.

Woodward's book followed the funeral of Senator John McCain - hailed as an American hero and Republican icon - where the president was unwelcome.



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