The anonymous op-ed published in The New York Times, allegedly authored by a senior Trump administration official, is continuing to generate controversy.
As The Washington Examiner reports, a slew of senior Trump administration publicly denied writing the piece.
Vice President Mike Pence, General James Mattis, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Head of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen, Attorney General Jeff Sessions, along with dozens of other administration officials denied being the author of the op-ed — either in interviews with the press, through official statements, or via Twitter.
But, President Trump remains obsessed with finding the leaker. He is losing sleep, coming across as “leathered,” and “freaked out,” according to Vanity Fair.
“If you look at him the wrong way, he’ll spend the next hour thinking you wrote it,” a White House source confirmed.
The President’s son, Donald Trump Jr., has reportedly told other White House officials that his father is losing sleep over the op-ed, while Ivanka Trump remains worried about the threat of impeachment after this fall’s midterms.
There is no way for Trump to identify the author, which is reportedly fueling his paranoia. Meetings have been canceled and derailed because of it, and Trump has pressured aides to disavow the author as a “coward,” and insisted on publicly shaming the person, according to an unnamed White House aide.
“He’s going to continue to shame this person. The author will break under pressure or will eventually say, ‘f**k it, it’s me.'”
“Nobody knows who it is,” the anonymous aide said, adding that plans to submit everyone inside the West Wing to a polygraph examination have failed, which is just continuing to fuel Trump’s paranoia.
Apart from The New York Times op-ed, President Trump is becoming increasingly embittered over Bob Woodward’s controversial, best-selling book about his administration. Trump has reportedly ordered former economic adviser Gary Cohn and staff secretary Rob Porter to disavow Woodward’s book, threatening to publicly attack them if they refuse to do so.
“Trump thinks he took Gary in and gave him a job when he was going nowhere at Goldman,” another source said.
Sources say Trump is “obsessed,” “lathered,” and “freaked out” that the New York Times leaker is still in his midst https://t.co/XWvxko2ndA
— VANITY FAIR (@VanityFair) September 13, 2018
“The president has had it. When books like this come out, he tends to shut down and calls up people he sees on TV saying good things about him,” a former White House official told Vanity Fair.
Besides family members, Trump continues to trust Senior Policy Adviser Stephen Miller. Much like Trump’s former chief strategist Steve Bannon, Miller has reportedly described the attempts laid out in The New York Times op-ed as an administrative coup.
Woodward’s book, and The New York Times op-ed — in combination with Trump’s obsession to identify the leaker and attempts to discredit Woodward — are wreaking havoc in the West Wing. But, sources claim, the increasing likelihood that Democrats will make big gains in the midterms is threatening to complicate matters even further.