Trump, White House Go Berserk Over Anonymous NYT Op-Ed

on September 5, 2018 in Washington, DC.
Mark Wilson/Getty Images North America

President Trump and the White House went into full counterattack mode over Wednesday’s extraordinary op-ed in the New York Times from an anonymous senior administration official, attacking both the source and the publication.

Trump, in extended comments to reporters shortly after the op-ed was released, attacked the “failing New York Times,” the “dishonest media,” and a “gutless” writer.

“We have somebody in what I call the failing New York Times talking about he’s part of the resistance within the Trump administration. This is what we have to deal with,” he told reporters in the East Room early Wednesday evening.

Trump then ran through a series of talking points about all the ways he saw the administration as succeeding, before turning back to the jaw-dropping op-ed, which accused him of being “amoral” and warned that the author and other Trump administration colleagues would continue to try to constrain Trump as he “continues to act in a manner that is detrimental to the health of our republic.”

“Nobody has ever done in less than a two-year period what we’ve done. So when you tell me about some anonymous source within the administration, probably who’s failing, and who’s probably here for all the wrong reasons. No,” Trump said near the tail end of an extended tirade. “And the New York Times is failing. If I weren’t here I believe the New York Times probably wouldn’t even exist. Someday, when I’m not president, which hopefully will be in about six and a half years, the New York Times, CNN and all of these phony media outlets will be out of business, folks, they’ll be out of business, because there’ll be nothing to write and there’ll be nothing of interest.”

“So if the failing New York Times has an anonymous editorial, can you believe it, anonymous, meaning gutless, a gutless editorial. We’re doing a great job. The poll numbers are through the roof, our poll numbers are great, and guess what? Nobody’s going to come even close to beating me in 2020, because of what we’ve done. We’ve done more than anybody ever thought possible, in it’s not even two years,” he concluded.

Those remarks came just before White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders sent out an official statement attacking the “gutless, anonymous source to the failing New York Times.”

“The individual behind this piece has chosen to deceive, rather than support, the duly elected President of the United States.  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,” Sanders wrote.

The president and his close staffers weren’t done, however, quickly taking to Twitter to continue expressing his fury following a brutal 24-hour stretch. The op-ed dropped shortly after excerpts leaked from Bob Woodward’s damning book that features quotes from multiple senior White House officials slamming their own president, including White House Chief of Staff John Kelly, who reportedly called him an “idiot” — the second time Kelly has been reported to have called his boss that in recent months.

Not too long after, a one-word tweet went out that was clearly from the president himself:

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