‘It’s like the horror movies when everyone realizes the call is coming from inside the house,’ one former White House official said about the anonymous New York Times piece.
By Philip Rucker, Ashley Parker and Josh Dawsey
September 5 at 8:20 PM
President Trump and his aides reacted with indignation Wednesday to an unsigned opinion column from a senior official blasting the president’s “amorality” and launched a frantic hunt for the author, who claims to be part of a secret “resistance” inside the government protecting the nation from its commander in chief.
The extraordinary column, published anonymously in the New York Times, surfaced one day after the first excerpts emerged from Bob Woodward’s new book, in which Trump’s top advisers painted a devastating portrait of the president and described a “crazytown” atmosphere inside the White House.
Trump reacted to the column with “volcanic” anger and was “absolutely livid” over what he considered a treasonous act of disloyalty and told confidants he suspects the official works on national security issues or in the Justice Department, according to two people familiar with his private discussions.
Trump questioned on Twitter whether the official was a “phony source,” and wrote that if “the GUTLESS anonymous person does indeed exist, the Times must, for National Security purposes, turn him/her over to government at once!”
In a column titled, “I Am Part of the Resistance Inside the Trump Administration,” the person whom the Times identifies only as a “senior official” describes Trump’s leadership style as “impetuous” and accuses him of acting recklessly “in a manner that is detrimental to the health of our republic.”
The official writes that Cabinet members witnessed enough instability by their boss that there were “early whispers” of invoking the 25th Amendment to remove Trump from office but decided instead to avoid a constitutional crisis and work within the administration to contain him.
“Many Trump appointees have vowed to do what we can to preserve our democratic institutions while thwarting Mr. Trump’s more misguided impulses until he is out of office,” the official writes.
The column, which published midafternoon Wednesday, sent tremors through the West Wing and launched a frantic guessing game. Startled aides canceled meetings and huddled behind closed doors to strategize a response. Aides were analyzing language patterns to try to discern the author’s identity or at a minimum the part of the administration where the author works.
“The problem for the president is it could be so many people,” said one administration official, who like many others interviewed for this story spoke on the condition of anonymity to be candid. “You can’t rule it down to one person. Everyone is trying, but it’s impossible.”
Source: ‘The sleeper cells have awoken’: Trump and aides shaken by ‘resistance’ op-ed