Donald Trump is determined to find the identity of the anonymous staff member who penned a scathing op-ed, and he reportedly will try to have the writer arrested once they are discovered.
Scott Dworkin, a Democratic strategist and fundraiser, and frequent MSNBC contributor, said on Twitter that a lobbyist from the other side of the aisle reported Trump’s plan to use a lie detector test on staff members to determine who wrote the op-ed. Published on Wednesday in the New York Times, the anonymous senior member of the Trump administration claimed that the president is unfit for office and that staff member have banded together to quash his most dangerous impulses.
Trump took to Twitter almost immediately after it was published, demanding that the New York Times turn over the identity of the senior staff member who wrote the editorial.
“Does the so-called ‘Senior Administration Official’ really exist, or is it just the Failing New York Times with another phony source? If the GUTLESS anonymous person does indeed exist, the Times must, for National Security purposes, turn him/her over to government at once!” Trump wrote in a tweet.
With the New York Times not revealing the source, Donald Trump apparently plans to do the detective work himself, Dworkin reported. The MSNBC contributor claimed that Trump wants to arrest whoever it is that wrote the piece, though it is not clear what charges could be brought against someone for sharply criticizing the president.
BREAKING: A Republican lobbyist just told me that “@realDonaldTrump intends to use lie detector tests on his own cabinet and staff members,” in an effort to try and uncover who was behind the scathing New York Times op-ed. They also said “he wants them to be arrested when found.”— Scott Dworkin (@funder) September 6, 2018
Some have taken to dissecting the op-ed in an effort to find who may have written it, but the writer may have accounted for that. As the New York Post noted, the op-ed used the term “lodestar,” a seldom-used word that is a favorite of Vice President Mike Pence. However, it also used the term “first principles,” a phrase often used by General Jim Mattis, Trump’s national security adviser.
As Yashar Ali of New York Magazine noted, Trump officials have been known to purposely copy language of other senior staffers when leaking news in an effort to throw the paranoid president off their trail.
While some folks are doing a language analysis...— Yashar Ali ???? (@yashar) September 5, 2018
“Lodestar” - Pence
“First Principles” - Mattis
Remember that some senior administration officials have been known to use the language often used by other officials in an effort to throw people off track. https://t.co/81cvISiIP2
Many Trump officials have rushed out official statements denying they wrote the scathing anonymous New York Times op-ed about the Trump admin: pic.twitter.com/yzyCQbYL0P— TheBeat w/Ari Melber (@TheBeatWithAri) September 6, 2018
So far, no senior staff member has come forward to claim the blistering op-ed about Donald Trump, and a number of others have released statements saying it was not them. It is not clear if the president plans to move forward with the reported plan to use a lie detector to get to the bottom of the case.