Twitter Flips Out Over Anonymous WH Official’s NYT Op-Ed: ‘What the Holy Hell Is This?’
A senior White House official has written a blistering but anonymous op-ed for The New York Times saying in some detail they are part of a “resistance” inside the administration trying to curtail the worst impulses of President Donald Trump.
“The root of the problem is the president’s amorality. Anyone who works with him knows he is not moored to any discernible first principles that guide his decision making,” the official says. “Although he was elected as a Republican, the president shows little affinity for ideals long espoused by conservatives: free minds, free markets and free people. At best, he has invoked these ideals in scripted settings. At worst, he has attacked them outright.”
Now, there are a lot of questions that need answering here. One of particular media relevance was this observation from New York Times investigative reporter Jodi Kantor:
So basically: Times reporters now must try to unearth the identity of an author that our colleagues in Opinion have sworn to protect with anonymity? https://t.co/wj2nKmDHz9
— jodikantor (@jodikantor) September 5, 2018
In addition to the speculation about who this person could possibly be, some of the reactions have taken a pretty cynical viewpoint of why someone in the White House would be scrambling to say something like this while not disclosing who they are:
What the holy hell is this?https://t.co/Y5YHCgvR5n
— Chris Hayes (@chrislhayes) September 5, 2018
Hey @nytimes: could we get an org chart of what counts as “senior official in the Trump administration?”
— Chris Hayes (@chrislhayes) September 5, 2018
I'm in shock. https://t.co/PYcxEqJNhu
— Brian Stelter (@brianstelter) September 5, 2018
There are hints, but this piece doesn't answer the pretty fundamental question of whether its author is a political appointee or career official https://t.co/f999CmwM1R
— Lachlan Markay (@lachlan) September 5, 2018
— Kaitlan Collins (@kaitlancollins) September 5, 2018
Oh wow. Wow. This is a BFD. This is going to put the White House on DEFCON 1. https://t.co/OUDmoVQ7fC
— Erick Erickson (@EWErickson) September 5, 2018
If you thought the witchhunt in the WH for leakers was bad before…https://t.co/DhnNpJCTNy
— Rick Wilson (@TheRickWilson) September 5, 2018
2. i would be way too paranoid someone would ID my writing style to ever go through with something like thishttps://t.co/uIoD6fNw0y
— ಠ_ಠ (@MikeIsaac) September 5, 2018
— rob delaney (@robdelaney) September 5, 2018
On the one hand, this is self-justifying narishkeit by someone who loves the word "lodestar." On the other hand, it is going to drive Trump ABSOLUTELY INSANE WITH PARANOIA! https://t.co/P1oG8IqSMb
— Emily Nussbaum (@emilynussbaum) September 5, 2018
Let's be clear: this person is NOT part of the resistance. They are facilitating and implementing Trump's presidency, no matter what they may tell themselves. https://t.co/ZD8TrGNiSc
— Ronald Klain (@RonaldKlain) September 5, 2018
My 2 cents: If a senior administration official truly believes the president is a threat and is behaving erratically, he/she should tell the public — on the record. https://t.co/9kn2BEkoYK
Voters elected Trump — not a staff trying to save the republic.
— Mark Murray (@mmurraypolitics) September 5, 2018
People who think my newspaper shouldn’t have published The Op-Ed are nuts. People who think its author shouldn’t have written it are reasonable.
— Ross Douthat (@DouthatNYT) September 5, 2018
HOW COULD YOU pic.twitter.com/IgHOgXIfy0
— Dave Itzkoff (@ditzkoff) September 5, 2018
This self-aggrandizing oped writer calls him or herself part of the "steady state", while hoping we forget about family separation, for example. https://t.co/oFuYhDwVsE
— Tommy Vietor (@TVietor08) September 5, 2018
“The root of the problem is the president’s amorality. Anyone who works with him knows he is not moored to any discernible first principles that guide his decision making.” If problem (indeed crisis) is @realDonaldTrump personality, how does this help? https://t.co/cTHVypYVob
— Hugh Hewitt (@hughhewitt) September 5, 2018
Gut reaction to NYT oped:
1) Feeds/confirms Trump's worst fears about the deep state plots
2) Trump will go nuclear, making the efforts of this "internal resistance" far harder
3) What is the point of a secret cabal if you don't keep it secret?
— Carlos Lozada (@CarlosLozadaWP) September 5, 2018
The @nytimes should have not published this letter without getting this person to go public.
Publishing this letter has put this country in even greater danger if the things written in it are true.
— The Reagan Battalion (@ReaganBattalion) September 5, 2018
Could it be John Baron?
— Dana Perino (@DanaPerino) September 5, 2018
I can't wait to read the eventual book, I Too Was Secretly Dismayed the Whole Time, Also: A Memoir of Service
— James Poniewozik (@poniewozik) September 5, 2018
One weird thing about this anon op-ed: If you're arguing your goal at WH is to calm Trump down, doesn't publishing this op-ed (particularly in NYT) accomplish the exact opposite?
— Philip Klein (@philipaklein) September 5, 2018
If this is true, is the goal of this op-ed to trigger a massive purge of those restraining Trump? Because that’s what will happen. Idiocy. https://t.co/v109YQanKW
— Ben Shapiro (@benshapiro) September 5, 2018
This is basically the equivalent of bragging to everyone who will listen about how you anonymously donated to charity.
— Nate Silver (@NateSilver538) September 5, 2018
I can't believe Marlon Bundo flipped
— Alex Griswold (@HashtagGriswold) September 5, 2018
We now present an opinion piece with no substantive content by an anonymous contributor whom no employer should ever trust again:
“Dear America, this administration is wonderful, but I’m trying to sabotage from the inside. Also, be super afraid and know you owe me.”
— Walter Shaub (@waltshaub) September 5, 2018
[photo via Getty Images]
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