Melania Trump on Thursday fired back at the anonymous writer of a damning New York Times editorial, saying that the person who wrote it is “sabotaging the country.”
In a statement to CNN, the First Lady condemned the writer of the editorial, who claims to be a “senior White House official” who is part of a “resistance” within the administration.
“Freedom of speech is an important pillar of our nation’s founding principles and a free press is important to our democracy. The press should be fair, unbiased and responsible. To the writer of the op-ed — you are not protecting this country, you are sabotaging it with your cowardly actions.”
It was an exceptionally rare move for the First Lady, who has by-and-large stayed out of controversies surrounding her husband and his administration – save for a much-publicized visit to a Texas detention facility to see first-hand immigrant children who have been separated from their parents.
She went on to criticize the person for remaining behind a veneer of anonymity, saying that our nation’s history is being written by people with no names. She also made an oblique threat, saying that “words have consequences.”
“If a person is bold enough to accuse people of negative actions, they have a responsibility to publicly stand by their words and people have the right to be able to defend themselves.”
The statement comes despite the fact that Melania’s own husband has been known to cite anonymous sources to advance his own agenda.
When you see “anonymous source,” stop reading the story, it is fiction!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 29, 2018
An 'extremely credible source' has called my office and told me that @BarackObama's birth certificate is a fraud.— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 6, 2012
Meanwhile, White House associates are lining up to distance themselves from the piece.
As reported by the Inquisitr, Vice President Mike Pence, through a spokesman, said Thursday that he was not the person behind the anonymous editorial, saying that he would have put his own name to anything he had written. This was largely in response to an internet rumor that tied Pence to the piece because of its use of the world “lodestar,” a word Pence has been known to use in his own speeches and writings. Of course, it could very well have been a coincidence, or it could have been a red herring to distract from the writer’s true identity.
These officials have denied authoring The New York Times anonymous Op-Ed against Trump:— TicToc by Bloomberg (@tictoc) September 6, 2018
-Vice President Mike Pence
-Secretary of State Mike Pompeo
-DNI Director Dan Coats#NYTimesOpEd pic.twitter.com/er3x51f7t0
Similarly, Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats has also been suggested as the author of the piece, since he himself has been nicknamed “Lodestar” by some in Washington. Coats also denied ownership, saying that, like Pence, he would put his own name to anything he wrote.