The New York Times published an anonymous op-ed on Wednesday, that it said was penned by a senior Trump administration official who has vowed to thwart parts of the president’s agenda and “his worst inclinations.”
In the piece titled, “I Am Part of the Resistance Inside the Trump Administration,” the author wrote that while many senior officials “want the administration to succeed”, they are “working diligently from within to frustrate parts of his agenda.”
“We believe our first duty is to this country, and the president continues to act in a way that is harmful to the health of our republic,” Xinhua news agency reported the unidentified official as writing.
In a note attached to the op-ed, The Times said it was publishing the anonymous piece at the request of the author whose identity was known to it and “whose job would be jeopardized by its disclosure.”
“We believe publishing this essay anonymously is the only way to deliver an important perspective to our readers,” the note added.
The author denounced in the piece the president’s “amorality” and described his impulses as “generally anti-trade and anti-democratic” and his leadership style as “impetuous, adversarial, petty and ineffective.”
The op-ed also revealed that Trump’s Cabinet originally speculated about invoking the 25th Amendment, which would start a complex process for removing the president, but they did not go with it because “no one wanted to precipitate a constitutional crisis.”
In response, Trump questioned the existence of the author via Twitter on Wednesday.
“Does the so-called ‘Senior Administration Official’ really exist, or is it just the Failing New York Times with another phony source?” Trump wrote.
“If the GUTLESS anonymous person does indeed exist, the Times must, for National Security purposes, turn him/her over to the government at once!”
Trump earlier told reporters the article was a cowardly product of dishonest media.
In a statement, White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said the person behind the op-ed chose to “deceive, and not support, the duly elected President of the United States” and called on the “coward” to resign.
Sanders also urged The New York Times to issue an apology.
The release of the op-ed also came amid excerpts from an explosive book, titled “Fear: Trump in the White House,” which painted a chaotic White House run under Trump.
Trump said the book, written by U.S. veteran investigative journalist Bob Woodward, “means nothing” and called it a “work of fiction.”