Holy Crap! Stop What You’re Doing and Read This Anonymous Op-Ed from a Senior White House Staffer

UPDATE (4:00 pm): Trump responds to the anonymous Op-Ed much like you would probably expect. From Politico:

The president addressed the op-ed directly in comments made in the East Room, calling it an “anonymous, meaning gutless, gutless editorial.”

“So when you tell me about some anonymous source within the administration, probably who’s failing and probably here for all the wrong reasons, now, and The New York Times’ is failing,” Trump said. “If I weren’t here, I believe The New York Times probably wouldn’t even exist.”

“We are disappointed, but not surprised, that the paper chose to publish this pathetic, reckless, and selfish op-ed. This is a new low for the so-called ‘paper of record,’ and it should issue an apology, just as it did after the election for its disastrous coverage of the Trump campaign,” White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said in a statement. “The individual behind this piece has chosen to deceive, rather than support, the duly elected President of the United States. He is not putting country first, but putting himself and his ego ahead of the will of the American people. This coward should do the right thing and resign.”

Trying to put out a fire WITH fire might not be the best approach here.


New York Times, Sept. 5, 2018

The White House is freaking out over revelations from Bob Woodward’s forthcoming book, “Fear.” President Trump is predictably attacking Woodward, calling the new book “fiction” and floating some sort of conspiracy theory about Woodward being a secret Democratic operative, but a stunning editorial published this afternoon in the New York Times makes that narrative tougher for Trump to sustain.

Here’s how the Times explains today’s opinion piece from an anonymous White House author, described as “a senior official in the Trump administration”:

The Times today is taking the rare step of publishing an anonymous Op-Ed essay. We have done so at the request of the author, a senior official in the Trump administration whose identity is known to us and whose job would be jeopardized by its disclosure. We believe publishing this essay anonymously is the only way to deliver an important perspective to our readers. We invite you to submit a question about the essay or our vetting process here.

The entire opinion piece is well worth reading. Here are some of the more interesting excerpts:

The dilemma — which he does not fully grasp — is that many of the senior officials in his own administration are working diligently from within to frustrate parts of his agenda and his worst inclinations.

I would know. I am one of them…

And this…

…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…

And this…

From the White House to executive branch departments and agencies, senior officials will privately admit their daily disbelief at the commander in chief’s comments and actions. Most are working to insulate their operations from his whims.

Meetings with him veer off topic and off the rails, he engages in repetitive rants, and his impulsiveness results in half-baked, ill-informed and occasionally reckless decisions that have to be walked back.

And this…

…It may be cold comfort in this chaotic era, but Americans should know that there are adults in the room. We fully recognize what is happening. And we are trying to do what’s right even when Donald Trump won’t.

The editorial closes with a strong message for all Americans:

There is a quiet resistance within the administration of people choosing to put country first. But the real difference will be made by everyday citizens rising above politics, reaching across the aisle and resolving to shed the labels in favor of a single one: Americans.

The White House isn’t yet providing an official response to the Times editorial.

17 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. DENependent says:

    Well, let the White House hunt for traitors begin.. Also, I am sure that should anything go wrong that this will be the piece that it pointed at by loyalists to say that it was not the president's fault. It was those nasty deep state types. Not that avoiding publishing this would have stopped that. It just would have made it more nebulous.

  2. Pseudonymous says:

    These folks aren't adults.  They're craven opportunists implementing the parts of Trump's agenda they love, while trying to "pretty up" his disconnected, narcissistic, and ignorant approach.  If there are so many adults, why is coal ascendant, why are thousands of children separated from parents, why have two terrible justices and dozens or hundreds of other godawful jurists been placed on the courts?

    Ask yourself if you'd be fine with adults at the EPA easing up on Obama's emissions initiatives, or if you'd be fine with the FCC slow-rolling the next Democratic president's implementation of net neutrality.

    Like it or don't, these folks aren't the president and shouldn't be the ones telling the elected leader, awful as he is, what he's going to do, even if he's enough of a dotard to not notice.  Pursue his relief under the 25th Amendment, or show your adulthood by informing the public of what and why as you resign while telling us you can't serve this idiot, or, just maybe talk to congress, so they can impeach him– even if a bigger horror is waiting to step in.

    • ParkHill says:

      Malevolence mitigated by incompetence, indeed.

      Not to apologize for them, but there is some truth to the idea that Trump is his own worst enemy, and if they really want the Conservative agenda to succeed, they'd do well to moderate Trump's excesses.

      Trump is actually having quite a bit of success at implementing a right-wing agenda, from gutting the EPA, anti-immigrant and White Supremecist policies, etc.

      All the noise & fury is part of the brain-washing techniques that divert attention from actual policies. 

      • JohnInDenver says:

        Virtually all of the "gutting of the EPA" is based on announcements of proposed rules or abandonment of the new and improved rules in process during the last few months of the Obama Administration. Only a few rules have been through the process to actually be implemented — and several of them are now beginning the long slog through the courts, finding out if there is "enough" good reasoning to actually allow the rules to take effect.

        • mamajama55 says:

          The EPA website has been gutted. All of the sections having to do with climate change have been deleted. Decades worth of data has had its headings removed. It's illegal to actually delete scientific data, but it's been made very, very hard to find for the lay consumer who doesn't have access to specialized databases.

          So your average bright student looking for primary source data to back up a claim about climate change has to look elsewhere than the US's primary environmental agency to find it.

          Some truth-lovers took screenshots and cached the website as it existed on January 19,2016.

          In Colorado, the public liason for the EPA is a crook who was Trump's Colorado campaign manager, Patrick Davis. He's in charge of a bunch of Trumpist crooks who are lining their own  pockets while claiming to protect the environment.

          It’s going to take years to repair the damage, even if we win in 2018 and 2020.

          • MichaelBowman says:

            There was a coordinated effort (prior to high noon on Inauguration Day) by the national environmental organizations to capture all of the scientific papers on the EPA website, knowing what was coming. They have been preserved (and can presumably be restored after 2020). 

  3. Davie says:

    Conservative New York Times columnist Ross Douthat has an ominous warning for us all:

    “Look, we’re not enabling an American Putin here. We’re just babysitting the most impotent chief executive we’ll ever see, and locking in some good judges before the Democrats sweep us out.”

    I could continue this ventriloquization, but instead I’ll just point to its most substantial flaw: It assumes that Trumpian weakness will never breed Trumpian desperation, and that this president will be content with his impotence even in the face of a Mueller indictment of someone in his inner circle or a Democratic House’s investigation that threatens disgrace and ruin for his family. It assumes that Trump will never, even in a desperate hour, put his party’s attempts to contain him gently to a firmer sort of test.

    It’s understandable that Republicans want to make this assumption. It’s understandable that they want to manage their way through this presidency, to prod and press and redirect rather than confronting and resisting. And so far that strategy has worked out better than one might reasonably have feared.

    But we still have two years and four months left of this administration. And before it ends, I suspect the harder test will come.

  4. itlduso says:

    The call is coming from inside the House!

    Does Mike Pence own an evil clown suit?

  5. Davie says:

    Mike Keefe published this in the Colorado Independent.  I just hope when Trump pushes his "Big Red Button", all he gets is another Diet Coke.

  6. mamajama55 says:

    Remember all that crap about Hillary Clinton's supposed "Little Seizures" and reputed illnesses making her unfit to serve? Turns out that most of that concern trolling originated from Russian hacker accounts.

    And now we have a President who is demonstrably mentally unfit to serve. It's ….ironic, I guess.


    tastes like iron

    tastes like blood

    in the mouth.

  7. I fail to see where this is "Holy Crap!" rated material after all this time. Woodward's book excerpts portray worse. Omarosa's book says similar. Wolff's book exposed much the same. The endless leaks and rumors have hinted at it all along.

    The sad thing is, this staffer believes the policy changes are worth it.

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