At a rally in Montana, President Trump said that the anonymous New York Times op-ed criticizing him is “treason.” Later, he went on to discuss Nike’s ad campaign with former NFL player Colin Kaepernick and Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh. (Sept. 6)
WASHINGTON – President Trump has narrowed down who he believes wrote The New York Times op-ed that skewers him as being amoral and said his own team was frustrating his agenda.
Trump believes it is “somebody in national security,” Kellyanne Conway told CNN Friday.
“The President just, just today said he believes it’s somebody in national security,” Conway told Christiane Amanpour for her show which premiers on CNN International and PBS on Monday.
Trump earlier Friday said the identity of the author was something Attorney General Jeff Sessions “should be investigating who the author of that piece was, because I think it’s national security.”
Trump said the senior administration official probably has a security clearance and has access to high-level meetings on national security strategy. “I don’t want him in those meetings. We’re looking at it very strongly from a legal standpoint,” he said aboard Air Force One.
The New York Times op-ed written by “a senior official in the Trump administration” landed with a thud on Wednesday and immediately sent off a wild game of “whodunit?”
The op-ed writer said “the root of the problem is the president’s amorality” and calls Trump’s leadership style “impetuous, adversarial, petty and ineffective.”
“The dilemma — which he 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 writes.
According to CNN, Conway said while some people were investigating, she personally, is “not interested in an investigation of this.”
“I believe the person will suss himself or herself out though because that’s usually what happens,” Conway said. “People brag to the wrong person. They brag that they did this or that they did that.”
The op-ed isn’t the only thing that has sent the White House scrambling this week. A book by journalist Bob Woodward – whose work helped uncover the Watergate scandal that led to former President Richard Nixon’s resignation – is set to come out this week but early excerpts released sent Washington spinning. Like the op-ed, the book claims Trump’s aides don’t trust him and are trying to push against his inclinations – including stealing papers from his desk to stall potential action.
At a fundraising event for GOP Rep. Kristi Noem’s bid for governor in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. Friday night, Trump asked the state’s two senators — Mike Rounds and John Thune — to change libel laws to avoid unfavorable coverage.
“Hey Mike and John, could you do me a favor?” Trump asked. “Create some libel laws that when people say stuff bad about you, you could sue them.”
Earlier in the week, Rounds called the op-ed writer a “disgruntled employee” and laughed when USA TODAY said that there was discussion about Congressional investigations or hearings into the op-ed writer’s identity.
“There’s really no reason to do something about it at this point,” he said.
Contributing: Patrick Anderson in Sioux Falls, South Dakota.
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