Donald Trump blasts ‘gutless’ editorial from anonymous White House official claiming to be part of the ‘resistance’

Donald Trump has called on the unnamed White House official who claimed to be working against the President in a New York Times editorial to resign.

The extraordinary op-ed piece from a senior Trump administration official claimed to be part of a group of people ‘working diligently from within’ to impede the President’s ‘worst inclinations’.

Trump said it was a ‘gutless editorial’ and ‘really a disgrace,’ while his press secretary called on the official to resign.

The President later tweeted, ‘TREASON?’ and in an extraordinary move demanded that if ‘the GUTLESS anonymous person does indeed exist, the Times must, for National Security purposes, turn him/her over to government at once!’

Donald Trump blasted the ‘gutless editorial’ from an unidentified White House official (Rex)

What the writer said

The writer, claiming to be part of the ‘resistance’ to Trump but not from the left, said: ‘Many Trump appointees have vowed to do what we can to preserve our democratic institutions while thwarting Trump’s more misguided impulses until he is out of office.’

The newspaper described the author of the column only as a senior official in the Trump administration.

The mystery author continued: ‘It may be cold comfort in this chaotic era, but Americans should know that there are adults in the room.

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‘We fully recognise what is happening. And we are trying to do what’s right even when Donald Trump won’t.’

The said Trump aides are aware of the President’s faults and ‘many of the senior officials in his own administration are working diligently from within to frustrate parts of his agenda and his worst inclinations. I would know. I am one of them’.

The writer also alleged ‘there were early whispers within the cabinet of invoking the 25th Amendment’ because of the ‘instability’ witnessed in the President.

Trump demanded the person who wrote the editorial be handed over to the government (Rex)

White House response

A defiant Trump lashed out at the Times for publishing the op-ed, saying: ‘They don’t like Donald Trump and I don’t like them.’

The essay immediately triggered a wild guessing game as to the author’s identity on social media, in newsrooms and inside the West Wing, where officials were blindsided by its publication.

In a blistering statement, press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders accused the author of choosing to ‘deceive’ the President by remaining in the administration.

She said: ‘He is not putting country first, but putting himself and his ego ahead of the will of the American people.

‘The coward should do the right thing and resign.’

Ms Sanders also called on the Times to ‘issue an apology’ for publishing the piece, calling it a ‘pathetic, reckless, and selfish op-ed’.

Mystery surrounds who the White House official is (Rex)

Clues to the writer’s identity

Trump has demanded that aides identify the leaker, according to two people familiar with the matter, though it was not yet clear how they might go about doing so.

In a tweet, the Times used the pronoun ‘he’ to refer to the writer but the newspaper later said the tweet had been ‘drafted by someone who is not aware of the author’s identity, including the gender, so the use of ‘he’ was an error’.

Hotly debated on Twitter was the author’s use of the word ‘lodestar’, which pops up frequently in speeches by vice president Mike Pence.

However, others argued that the word could have been included to throw people off.

Some people believe Vice President Mike Pence could be the man behind the editorial (Rex)

The editorial was published a day after the release of details from an explosive new book by famed journalist Bob Woodward that laid bare concerns from Trump aides about the President’s judgement.

James Dao, op-ed editor with the New York Times, said that the piece was submitted last week through an intermediary, and anonymity was not granted until editors were confident in the writer’s identity.

The newspaper said: ‘We believe publishing this essay anonymously is the only way to deliver an important perspective to our readers.’