Anonymous Op-Ed Piece In The New York Times By Self-Described Senior White House Official Slams Trump’s “Amorality”; Contends “Many Of The Senior” Administration Officials Are Actively Working To “Frustrate Parts Of His Agenda”
Read it by clicking here, or on the graphic below.
Most things Trump-related these days are shocking, but hardly surprising. Not so this time. The Times Op-Ed is truly remarkable, coming from inside the White House as it reportedly is. No doubt even Trump was thrown for a loop. Here’s a clip of him lashing out at the piece, and then going off on a tangent about how he’s single-handedly keeping the New York Times in business. (And the Washington Post. And CNN. Never mind…) Just watch by clicking on the photo or here:
Trump’s right: the anonymous person is gutless.
While there’s a great tradition in this country of anonymous political publications, going back to the Federalist Papers, written by “Publius” (actually Alexander Hamilton, John Jay and James Madison) to promote the Constitution, we don’t think there’s exactly a parallel here.
And we don’t think the author’s identity will remain concealed for long. Because if they really were intent on clandestinely continuing to do what they’re doing now, they wouldn’t have done this.
Also, there’s a huge risk–especially if the author stays anonymous–this could start playing into Trump’s hands: confirming his narrative that there’s a vast conspiracy out to get him, so deep that it’s now infiltrated the White House, with adversaries lurking outside the Oval Office ready to set him on fire. This may be effective fodder for the President to use in rousing his base, and maybe a bunch of people just outside it, so they’ll vote for Trump’s allies in the midterms to “save” the President.
But for now, we will join in on what’s suddenly become America’s greatest pastime: amateur profiling. Because the other big question right now is who dunnit?
Especially if this ends up being a really top tier White House staffer, here’s how we see it:
- Look for someone who has more natural connections to the New York Times than the Washington Post. Because it would’ve made more sense for this piece to appear in the Washington Post, since the purpose seems at least partly to confirm allegations made by Bob Woodward in the preview of his Trump book in the Post the day before, and to rebut Trump’s rebuttals of that piece.
- Look for a person who has been openly critical of the President’s trade policies. It strikes us as odd that the Op-Ed writer makes a point of expressly stating “President Trump’s impulses are generally anti-trade and anti-democratic”. They put trade on equal footing with Trump’s attacks on Democracy. Most people wouldn’t do that. (We are former financial journalists; even we wouldn’t do that.)
- Look for a person who is particularly sanguine about giving huge breaks to big corporations. Because the Op-Ed writer also goes out of their way to identify massive cuts in corporate regulations and taxes as Trump’s “bright spots”.
- Look for someone who has a history of being a publicity seeker. Because again, this type of “anonymous” is not something someone would’ve done if they really wanted to be effective at doing what they said they were doing and didn’t deep down want to call attention to themselves.
- Look for someone who has a history of making up excuses to get themselves out of difficult situations that would’ve ended many other people’s careers. Because undoubtedly, when it all goes down, this person will use the Op-Ed as evidence they were not enabling the President.
- Look for someone who is good at covering their own ass.