It wasn’t me: Trump officials who deny writing the NYT op-ed

US President Donald Trump meets with the Emir of Kuwait Sheikh Sabah al Ahmad al-Jaber al Sabah in the Oval Office at the White House in Washington DC

US President Donald Trump meets with the Emir of Kuwait Sheikh Sabah al Ahmad al-Jaber al Sabah in the Oval Office at the White House in Washington DC

Some of that concern was seen on the third day of a contentious Senate confirmation hearing for Mr Trump's nominee for Justice of the Supreme Court, Judge Brett Kavanaugh, who was grilled by Democrat Party Senators over his opinion on key issues including whether he believes a sitting President can be indicted.

"I will say that it has not been our practice to do anonymous op-eds for the reason that kind of goes along the lines of.if you are making an argument, you should have the wherewithal and the belief in putting your name to that argument", Marcus said".

How large the pool of "senior administration officials" is in Washington is a matter of interpretation. Two White House officials speculated that the author works for a federal agency, not directly for the president.

"And this person instead, according to the New York Times, chose not only to stay but to undermine what President Trump and this administration are trying to do".

The Times published the op-ed just as reviews of veteran Washington journalist Bob Woodward's latest book, Fear: Trump Inside the White House, were released to the public this week. Most of the Cabinet has denied authorship.

Martha Joynt Kumar, director of the White House Transition Project, meanwhile, puts the number of true senior administration officials at around 100, defining them as high up in the government and having regular interaction with the White House or the president himself.

Sanders said The Times should apologize. "The press should be fair, unbiased and responsible". "And I think it gets held against them in the biggest possible way". "It may not be a Republican, it may not be a conservative, it may be a deep state person that's been there a long time".

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He said the scoop from the op-ed is essentially "Trump's not nice".

"No to all of your questions", said Michawn Rich, spokeswoman for Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue, when asked whether Perdue had any role in the column or knew who wrote it. In one tweet, he demanded that the newspaper name the source for legal action.

The paper says the author requested anonymity and that this was essential to deliver an "important perspective" to its readers.

The Times has always been a target of Trump's vitriol. In an interview Thursday with Fox News, Trump said, "What they've done is virtually, you know, it's treason, you could call it a lot of things". He criticized the media for what he said were its efforts to "undermine this administration".

There is a wall between the paper's news and editorial sections.

It is, in other words, the type of story pretty much any editor would dream of having fall into his lap - which is essentially what happened to Times op-ed page editor Jim Dao, who was approached by the unnamed official through an intermediary several days ago.

"What's really going on here is that Woodward's book, and the contents of what is in the anonymous piece in The New York Times is that those closest to the president of the United States are saying we must save the country from the president", Berstein said.

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