DC Daily: Fallout continues after anonymous New York Times op-ed blasts Trump

DC Daily: Fallout continues after anonymous New York Times op-ed blasts Trump
Posted at 6:33 AM, Sep 06, 2018
and last updated 2018-09-06 13:11:28-04

Here's what's making headlines in the political world on Thursday, Sept. 6, 2018:

Several Trump administration officials deny writing op-ed
-- In a stunning break from precedent, the New York Times published an anonymous op-ed by a "senior official in the Trump administration" on Wednesday afternoon. The author of the piece described himself as part of a "resistance" inside the White House, a group of officials that are actively working to thwart certain aspects of President Trump's agenda.

As the country speculates as to who the author might be, some Trump administration officials and their staff members have come out to deny writing the piece.

Mike Pence, Vice President
Jarrod Agen, Pence's communications director, issued a statement on the New York Times' piece on Thursday morning on Twitter: "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."

Mike Pompeo, Secretary of State
Pompeo, currently in India for a series of high-profile diplomacy talks, flatly denied writing the piece when asked by reporters, saying "it's not mine." He also criticized the Times for running the Op-Ed, saying he found the media's efforts to "undermine" the administration "disturbing."

Attorney General Jeff Sessions
A Justice Department spokesman told CNN that Sessions was not the author.

Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin
".@stevenmnuchin1 is honored to serve @POTUS & the American people. He feels it was irresponsible for @nytimes to print this anonymous piece. Now, dignified public servants are forced to deny being the source. It is laughable to think this could come from the Secretary," tweeted Tony Sayegh Jr., a spokesman for the department.

Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats
"From the beginning of our tenure, we have insisted that the entire (intelligence community) remain focused on our mission to provide the President and policymakers with the best intelligence possible," Coats said in a statement, adding that any speculation that he or his principal deputy Sue Gordon wrote the op-ed is "patently false."

Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen
"Secretary Nielsen is focused on leading the men and women of DHS and protecting the homeland -- not writing anonymous and false opinion pieces for the New York Times. These types of political attacks are beneath the Secretary and the Department's mission," the agency's press secretary Tyler Q. Houlton said in a statement.

Department of Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson
HUD spokesman Raffi Williams told CNN that Carson "didn't write the op-ed" and also denied writing the piece himself. Williams said he has not gone around asking other officials in the department but doubts it would be someone else at HUD.

U.S. Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley
In response to a CNN question about whether she wrote the op-ed, Haley said, "no."

President slams anonymous op-ed
-- Speaking at a White House event, President Trump called the anonymous op-ed published in The New York Times “gutless.”

Trump said, “When you tell me about some anonymous source within the administration probably who is failing and probably here for all the wrong reasons, and the New York Times is failing …”



Following the event, Trump took to Twitter and posted a one-word tweet: “Treason?”

He later followed up with: “Does the so-called ‘Senior Administration Official’ really exist, or is it just the Failing New York Times with another phony source? If the GUTLESS anonymous person does indeed exist, the Times must, for National Security purposes, turn him/her over to government at once!”

North Korea's Kim has “unwavering trust” in Trump, South Korea says
-- North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has "unwavering trust for President Trump" and wants to achieve the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula before the U.S. leader finishes his term, South Korean officials said Thursday.

"This trust, despite some difficulties surfaced during the negotiation process between the U.S. and the North, will continue," said South Korean special envoy Chung Eun-yong, who met with Kim in Pyongyang on Wednesday.

Chung said Kim told him North Korea "was willing to take more active measures toward denuclearization if his advance steps could be met with matching measures (from the U.S.)."

Kim said he had "never said anything bad about President Trump to anyone," Chung reported, adding that the North Korean leader expressed a wish to end 70 years of hostilities on the Korean Peninsula.

Trump responded to the comments, tweeting on Thursday: “Kim Jong Un of North Korea proclaims ‘unwavering faith in President Trump.’ Thank you to Chairman Kim. We will get it done together!”

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CNN contributed to this report