Senior official reveals White House aides are working to protect America from president's 'worst inclinations'
Yesterday, the New York Times posted an Op-Ed by somebody claiming to be "part of the resistance inside the Trump administration", and, almost immediately, the White House went into a meltdown. Trump himself described the writer of the piece as "gutless"; meanwhile, Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said the author was a "coward" who ought to quit their position.
"President Trump is facing a test to his presidency unlike any faced by a modern American leader," the author began.
"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."
The official then went on to detail some of the president's most problematic failings, and essentially claimed that the current government is being held together in spite of Trump's efforts, rather than because of them.
The scathing article criticised every aspect of Trump's leadership: from his handling of foreign policy and unusual "preference for autocrats and dictators", to his downright "erratic" behaviour on a day-to-day basis.
"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.
"'There is literally no telling whether he might change his mind from one minute to the next,' a top official complained to me recently, exasperated by an Oval Office meeting at which the president flip-flopped on a major policy decision he’d made only a week earlier."
The writer even said that they and other administration workers were considering attempting to get the president impeached.
"Given the instability many witnessed, there were early whispers within the cabinet of invoking the 25th Amendment, which would start a complex process for removing the president," they wrote. "But no one wanted to precipitate a constitutional crisis. So we will do what we can to steer the administration in the right direction until — one way or another — it’s over."
And it's important to note that this is not a Democrat writing this. This is a Republican: a person whom Trump is supposedly most strongly supposed to represent.
It's no wonder the president is irate at the Op-Ed, then, as it shows that even his own party members are completely baffled by - and perhaps even afraid of - his methods of leadership. In true Trump fashion, he expressed this anger in a one-word all-caps tweet:
He then followed this up by saying, "If the GUTLESS anonymous person does indeed exist, the Times must, for National Security purposes, turn him/her over to government at once!" before going on a blistering rant about the "failing New York Times", calling them a "phony" news organisation.
Though the author of the piece was not named, the NYT validated their claims by including this disclaimer at the top of the article:
"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."
There have been some rumours that the author of the piece is none other than Vice President Mike Pence, on account of the word "lodestar" being used (something that Pence has been heard to say before), but - if that's the case - it's unlikely he will ever admit to it.
Whether the writer of the article will ever come forward and identify themselves remains to be seen, but one thing's for sure: their actions have shaken the president in a way that he has not experienced before. With this and the recent Bob Woodward book condemning Trump in an unprecedented manner, it's beginning to look like the president is truly losing his grasp on what little support he has left.