- Several officials quickly issued their denials after New York Times stated that a senior Trump official wrote the controversial op-ed which criticized Trump.
- The whole incident has had social media sleuths abuzz finding out the mystery author’s identity.
- Officials such as Vice President Mike Pence and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo denied involvement and called the author “gutless” and a “coward.”
The New York Times op-ed that criticized President Donald Trump has had social media sleuths speculating over the unnamed writer’s identity, especially after the Times said the author was a “senior official in the Trump administration.”
Meanwhile, several suspected officials have promptly denied writing the essay:
After the uncommon word “lodestar” – which means an inspiration, model, or guide – was spotted in the essay, social media quickly suspected Vice President Mike Pence, who had used the word several times before in speeches and remarks.
However, White House officials are known to change their word choice when giving unnamed comments to the media.
Pence denied his involvement in a statement from his deputy chief of staff Jarrod Agen Thursday morning:
“The Vice President puts his name on his Op-Eds. The @nytimes should be ashamed and so should the person who wrote the false, illogical, and gutless op-ed. Our office is above such amateur acts.”
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo quickly told reporters “it’s not mine” and said the Times was a “liberal newspaper that has attacked this administration relentlessly.”
Pompeo also criticized the author, who, instead of just leaving, “chose not only to stay but to undermine what President Trump and this administration is trying to do.”
Dan Coats, Director of National Intelligence, became a possible suspect after MSNBC anchor Lawrence O’Donnell offered Coats as his top guess, pointing to Coats’ reaction surrounding Trump’s summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Coats however, said neither he nor his principal deputy Sue Gordon wrote the piece, and insisted that “the entire IC remain focused on our mission to provide the President and policymakers with the best intelligence possible.”
Tyler Houlton, a press secretary for the Department of Homeland Security, told USA TODAY that Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen “is focused on leading the men and women of DHS and protecting the homeland – not writing anonymous and false opinion pieces for The New York Times. ”
Tom Crosson, deputy director of press operations for the Defense Department, issued a statement on behalf of Defense Secretary James Mattis, which simply said, “I can tell you that Secretary Mattis did not write the OpEd.”
Tony Sayegh Jr., an assistant secretary of public affairs for the U.S. Treasury denied Secretary Steven Mnuchin’s involvement in a tweet which stated how Mnuchin is “honored” to serve the president and “feels it was irresponsible for @nytimes to print this anonymous piece. Now, dignified public servants are forced to deny being the source. It is laughable to think this could come from the Secretary.”
Rick Perry rebuked the op-ed Thursday in a tweet stating, “I am not the author of the New York Times OpEd, nor do I agree with its characterizations. Hiding behind anonymity and smearing the President of the United States does not make you an ‘unsung hero’, it makes you a coward, unworthy of serving this Nation.”
Nikki Haley, U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, reportedly laughed and said “no” when asked by reporters Thursday if she was the author of the Times piece.
White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders spoke Wednesday against the media and called for the resignation of the author, who she referred to as “a gutless, anonymous source to the failing New York Times.”
Others who denied authoring the piece include Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, Labor Department Secretary Alexander Acosta, Human Services Secretary Alex Azar, and Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Ben Carson.
Source: USA Today