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Why everyone in Washington is scrambling to identify who wrote *that* explosive Trump NYT op-ed

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Harvey Day
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Why everyone in Washington is scrambling to identify the Trump 'deep throat' after *that* NYT op-ed

After the New York Times published an explosive anonymous op-ed from someone inside the White House, everyone wants to know who did it. And, curiously, the most popular suggestion is Vice President Mike Pence 

There’s not much that really animates the beleaguered town of Washington anymore in this Trumpian age of constant crisis and confusion. But an anonymous New York Times op-ed from someone inside the White House admitting that there is a secret team of people working to undermine the president? Well, that’s the sort of juicy excitement we can all get behind.

In a highly unusual move, the publication – also known as the Gray Lady – posted the anonymous article titled ‘I Am Part of the Resistance Inside the Trump Administration’ yesterday, which immediately set Twitter aflame with speculation and analysis.

“I work for the president but like-minded colleagues and I have vowed to thwart parts of his agenda and his worst inclinations,” the mystery employee wrote.

“To be clear, ours is not the popular ‘resistance’ of the left,” they added. “We want the administration to succeed and think that many of its policies have already made America safer and more prosperous.”

Explosively, the author suggested that some inside the White House have discussed invoking the 25th Amendment of the Constitution, which was introduced in 1965 and ultimately ratified two years later and is a way of removing a president from office, ‘in the event of death, resignation, removal from office or impairment that prevents the current president from fulfilling his or her duties’.

“No-one wanted to precipitate a constitutional crisis,” they said. “So we will do what we can to steer the administration in the right direction until - one way or another - it’s over.”

The New York Times defended their decision to take the highly unusual step, saying: “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.”

Some of the claims are truly remarkable, including:

- “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 president’s leadership style… is impetuous, adversarial, petty and ineffective. 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.”

Of course, the very first thing that people want to know is: who is the new deep throat? 

’Deep throat’, of course, being the pseudonym given to the secret informant who provided information to the Washington Post in 1972 which eventually brough down Richard Nixon from the presidency in the Watergate scandal).

Well, Twitter had plenty of suggestions; some were comical and some more serious, including some people who seriously think it could be Vice President Mike Pence.

The wild (and totally unfounded) speculation that Vice President Mike Pence was the author even spawned a new hashtag #VeepThroat.

This excellent Twitter thread imagines Pence and his wife – who, in real life, he creepily calls ‘Mother’ – chatting as he submitted the article:

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The big problem with the #VeepThroat theory is this: why in the world would Mike Pence put himself in such a vulnerable position with this article?

Plus, it doesn’t really make sense that Pence, an extreme conservative who opposes gay marriage and abortion, would work with such a liberal publication like the New York Times.

Other commentators weren’t impressed with the author and speculated about their intentions: 

The big problem with the New York Times’ decision to publish this op-ed is that it plays directly into Trump’s hands; he loves nothing more than to rail against the ‘Washington swamp,’ which he says is filled with scurrilous cowards in politics and the media who are desperately trying to bring him down and destroy his agenda.

And on some level, can you really blame him? How would we have felt it came out that someone inside Obama’s administration was secretly working against him? The unpleasant fact is, Trump was elected under the agreed-upon-if-totally-flawed Electoral College voting system so attempts to undermine him from the inside carry a distinctly anti-democratic odour.

Politicians on the Left need to steer clear from these distractions and, like Bernie Sanders and his new fair wage bill called the BEZOS Act, should instead focus on ways to win over voters. Because the big takeaway from this op-ed is that even Republicans who oppose Trump – including those working in the White House – are too spineless to publicly criticise the president and withdraw their support. 

This op-ed doesn’t make the author seem like a quiet hero. No, it proves that Republicans and American conservatives are cowards who are too afraid to cross the president.

Ultimately, the best way to get rid of Trump is at the ballot box – not with shady New York Times op-eds.

(Image: Getty)

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Harvey Day

Digital writer for Shortlist.com / @harveyday94 / harvey.day@shortlist.com

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