The president assailed The Times, the second time in two days that news outlets reported that members of his team quietly act to undermine him when they believe he may be acting dangerously.
WASHINGTON — President Trump denounced what he called a “gutless editorial” posted by The New York Times on Wednesday, an essay written by an unnamed administration official claiming that advisers to the president were deliberately trying to thwart his “reckless decisions” from the inside.
At an event at the White House, Mr. Trump angrily assailed The Times for publishing the Op-Ed column, the second time in two days that news reports highlighted the way that some members of his team quietly seek to undermine the president when they believe he may be acting dangerously.
“We have somebody in what I call the failing New York Times talking about he’s part of the resistance within the Trump administration,” the president said. “This is what we have to deal with.”
He went on: “So when you tell me about some anonymous source within the administration, probably who’s failing, and who’s probably here for all the wrong reasons. No. And The New York Times is failing.” He added: “So if the failing New York Times has an anonymous editorial, can you believe it, anonymous, meaning gutless, a gutless editorial.”
Not long afterward, Mr. Trump turned to Twitter to continue his complaints and posted one message that said simply, “TREASON?”
The Op-Ed piece came just a day after reports on the coming book, “Fear,” by Bob Woodward, which depicts a White House often in disarray and filled with advisers struggling to prevent Mr. Trump from actions they consider damaging to the country. Among other things, aides sneaked documents off the president’s desk to prevent him from signing them, according to the book.
The book and the column collectively raise questions about Mr. Trump’s ability to govern and the struggle among his staff members between loyalty to the president they serve and a sense among some that they have a higher duty to keep him from going too far at the risk of the country’s security and stability.
The author of the piece described being part of “a quiet resistance within the administration,” but while the identity is known to the editors of the editorial pages, it was withheld because that person’s job might be in jeopardy.
The official described the president’s leadership as “impetuous, adversarial, petty and ineffective” and cited “unsung heroes” and “adults in the room” who tried to prevent disaster. At one point, the official wrote, there was talk of the cabinet invoking the 25th Amendment to declare Mr. Trump unable to discharge his duties, but no one wanted a constitutional crisis.