On September 5, 2018, The New York Times published the “resistance op-ed” from an alleged anonymous Trump administration official who claimed to be an insider opposed to many of the president’s policies and antics. As noted by The Huffington Post, the mystery surrounding the anonymous subject’s identity still remains unsolved.
“I Am Part of the Resistance Inside the Trump Administration,” the op-ed was titled, which characterized the White House as a chaotic place where staffers routinely undermine the president while playing damage control.
“The dilemma — which [Trump] 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,” the author wrote. “I would know. I am one of them.”
The op-ed even went so far as to say that some administration officials have pontificated whether or not to invoke the 25th amendment to remove the president, believing him unfit to serve in the high office.
“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,” the author suggested. “It may be cold comfort in this chaotic era, but Americans should know that there are adults in the room. We fully recognize what is happening. And we are trying to do what’s right even when Donald Trump won’t.”
The op-ed ignited a media firestorm as speculation swirled as to who the author’s identity could be. One theory even postulated that Vice President Mike Pence penned the article due to the presence of the word “lodestar,” which he apparently had a penchant for using. That theory was laid to rest by the vice president’s own office, who described the writer as “gutless.”
“The Vice President puts his name on his Op-Eds. The [Times] should be ashamed and so should the person who wrote the false, illogical, and gutless op-ed. Our office is above such amateur acts,” said the VP’s office at the time.
The Trump administration simultaneously told the writer to publicly reveal themselves and resign instead of hiding like a feckless coward.
“We are disappointed, but not surprised, that the paper chose to publish this pathetic, reckless, and selfish op-ed,” White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said in a statement. “This is a new low for the so-called ‘paper of record,’ and it should issue an apology, just as it did after the election for its disastrous coverage of the Trump campaign. This is just another example of the liberal media’s concerted effort to discredit the President.”
“The individual behind this piece has chosen to deceive, rather than support, the duly-elected President of the United States,” Sanders continued. “He is not putting country first, but putting himself and his ego ahead of the will of the American people. This coward should do the right thing and resign.”
One year later, the author still has not mustered the courage to reveal themselves, which may or may not ever happen. This may further lend credence to the speculation that the writer may have actually been a low-level staffer with limited access to the Trump administration.