At this point, the accounts of chaos within the White House under President Donald Trump are too numerous to count. Anonymous leaks to the press have portrayed a federal government in disarray and a president who, frankly, has no idea what he’s doing. And these damning reports keep coming. Yesterday, September 5th, The New York Times published an anonymous op-ed from a high-up government official who claimed they were secretly fighting Trump from inside the White House.
The anonymous op-ed author seems to corroborate reports that Trump is irrational and unfit to lead, but also said that they and several others in the White House had “vowed to thwart parts of [Trump’s] agenda and his worst inclinations.”
However, this “resistance,” the author clarifies, is only against Trump—not the administration’s politics. The author expresses disgust at the president’s disregard for conservative ideals and claims that Trump’s impulsive nature “results in half-baked, ill-informed and occasionally reckless decisions that have to be walked back.” At the beginning of Trump’s term, the author writes, certain officials even considered invoking the 25th Amendment to remove Trump, but they decided against this in the interest of stability.
After the op-ed was published, Trump posted a taped statement to Twitter in which he railed against the “failing New York Times” and claimed that his administration has “done more than anyone ever thought possible.” He followed it up with a tweet calling the anonymous author “gutless” and questioning their existence.
CNN notes that anonymous opinion pieces are rare but not unprecedented. In a note that preceded the op-ed, The New York Times revealed that it knows the identity of the writer, but that disclosing their name could jeopardize their job.
Twitter, of course, already has theories about who penned the op-ed. The author’s use of the word “lodestar”—meaning “one that serves as an inspiration, model, or guide”—caused several people to speculate that Vice President Mike Pence wrote the piece.
Others suggested that the word was used to frame Pence and throw readers off the real author’s trail.
Both Pence and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo have denied writing the op-ed, according to CNBC.
We may never know the person behind the op-ed, but one thing’s for sure: the piece is without precedence in U.S. history, and we can only hope that the “forces of resistance” in the White House are victorious.