Trump calls on NYT to reveal 'coward' behind article | Daily News

Trump calls on NYT to reveal 'coward' behind article

A man reads an article by The New York Times on Donald Trump.
A man reads an article by The New York Times on Donald Trump.

US: US President Donald Trump on Thursday called on the New York Times (NYT) to reveal the name of the “coward” who wrote an explosive, anonymous article that has plunged his presidency into its worst crisis yet.

The White House has been convulsed by a fevered hunt for the senior official who declared, in an unsigned article for The New York Times published Wednesday, that “unsung heroes” were quietly working within the administration to frustrate the President's “worst inclinations.” “Nobody knows who the hell he is, or she,” Trump told supporters at a rally in Billings, Montana, adding: “Unidentified deep state operatives who defy voters to push their secret agendas are truly a threat to democracy itself.” Invoking national security concerns, Trump said the paper should publish the official's name, before encouraging reporters to investigate the matter. “That would be a good scoop!” he said. On the internet and in Washington, a guessing game has raged over who the author might be, prompting nearly every Cabinet-ranked member of the government to deny it was them. Vice President Mike Pence, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Defence Secretary Jim Mattis and Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats were among those who issued denials. Trump responded with a furious volley of tweets that asked if the author had committed treason while First Lady Melania Trump condemned the decision to publish. “To the writer of the op-ed -- you are not protecting this country, you are sabotaging it with your cowardly actions,” she said.

The Woodward book, “Fear: Trump in the White House,” reported that senior aides lifted documents from the Oval Office desk to keep the president from acting on his impulses, reinforcing the assertions in the Times article. James Dao, who runs the Times op-ed page, told CNN he received the article several days ago through an intermediary, but had spoken directly with its author.Trump meanwhile has called for the article's author to be unmasked.

“Are the investigative 'journalists' of the New York Times going to investigate themselves - who is the anonymous letter writer?,” he tweeted ahead of a rally in Montana.

The Times acknowledged the “rare step” of publishing an anonymous editorial but said the official's job would be jeopardized if they were identified. The piece described a “two-track” Presidency in which Trump says one thing and his staff consciously does another, citing the president's alleged preference “for autocrats and dictators.” “The root of the problem is the president's amorality,” the official said, denouncing Trump's “impetuous, adversarial, petty and ineffective” leadership style.

- AFP

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