A statement from the vice-president’s office says he ‘puts his name on his op-eds’ and secretary of state says op-ed ‘is not mine’
Vice-President Mike Pence and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo have denied writing an explosive and anonymous opinion piece that said an internal “resistance” is working to thwart parts of Donald Trump’s agenda, as the White House seeks to rout out the author.
Trump reacted with fury to the anonymous account, published by the New York Times, which was written by a current Trump administration official and claimed an internal White House coalition is working to frustrate “his worst inclinations” until he leaves – or can be removed from – office.
He fumed on Thursday in a Tweet that the “Deep State and the Left, and their vehicle, the Fake News Media, are going Crazy - & they don’t know what to do.”
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Trump derided the article as “anonymous, meaning gutless” and lashed out at the New York Times for publishing it, insisting “they don't like Donald Trump and I don't like them because they're very dishonest people”.
In a tweet on Wednesday evening, Trump insisted: “If the GUTLESS anonymous person does indeed exist, the Times must, for National Security purposes, turn him/her over to government at once!” The White House press secretary, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, called on the “coward” who wrote the piece to “do the right thing and resign”.
Pompeo, who is visiting New Delhi, told reporters on Thursday: “It's not mine” after fevered speculation over who wrote the article seized Washington.
Pompeo said it “shouldn't surprise anyone” that the newspaper chose to print “such a piece” and if the piece actually was written by a top US official the outlet “should not have chosen to take a disgruntled, deceptive, bad actor's word for anything.”
Pompeo accused the media of trying to undermine the Trump administration and says he finds it “incredibly disturbing”.
On Twitter, many debated the importance of the author’s use of the word “lodestar”, which pops up frequently in speeches by the vice-president, Mike Pence.
A statement from Pence’s office posted on Twitter said: “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.”