Melania Trump Slams 'Cowardly' Trump Administration Official's New York Times Op-Ed

Trump fires back at Bob Woodward book with statements from James Mattis and John Kelly

James Dao, the newspaper's op-ed editor, said in the Times' daily podcast that while an intermediary brought him together with the author, he conducted a background check and spoke to the person to the point that he was "totally confident" in the identity.

White House aides have reportedly launched their own witch hunt for the senior official, with some resorting to contacting reporters to find out who knows what.

Buzzfeed News reported that Pompeo, the U.S. Secretary of State, had denied writing the piece.

"It's just so similar to what so many of us hear from senior people around the White House, you know, three times a week".

Trump sought to portray the op-ed as a reflection of yet more anger by Democrats who have never accepted his surprise 2016 presidential election win.

But was that the right call?

Asked whether internal dissent in the White House concerned him, Graham, who has recently become one of Trump's most vocal supporters, said: "I don't know how deep it is".

According to Buzzfeed, Pompeo said the anonymous op-ed was "sad" and said The New York Times should not "have chosen to take a disgruntled, deceptive bad actor's word for anything and put it in their newspaper".

That is not new.

The op-ed - titled "I Am Part of the Resistance Inside the Trump Administration" - claims to be written by someone who, along with other "like-minded colleagues", has "vowed to thwart parts" of Donald Trump's agenda and "his worst inclinations". "So when you tell me about some anonymous source within the administration, probably who's failing and probably here for all the wrong reasons, now, and The New York Times is failing".

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In my view, with some reservations, those sentiments merited publication.

"We believe publishing this essay anonymously is the only way to deliver an important perspective to our readers", it wrote.

"In other countries. they sometimes call this a coup", Wallace said on MSNBC's Deadline: White House, referring to the article's assertion that there is a "resistance" made up of administration officials which aims to protect the republic from Trump's "amorality".

Text messages circulated among current and former officials, sources said, some reading "The sleeper cells have awoken". "And we are trying to do what's right even when Donald Trump won't". "You may be the paper of record, but it's a broken one".

Within hours of the first reports about the book, the US leader started attacking it, asserting that quotes and stories in the book "were made up frauds, a con on the public".

Even the unnamed essayist felt compelled to acknowledge the administration's accomplishments - "effective deregulation, historic tax reform, a more robust military and more".

President Donald Trump prepares to sign three Executive Orders in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, Jan. 23, 2017.

Material from the Associated Press was used in this report.

Trump was furious, tweeting Thursday morning that "The Deep State and the Left, and their vehicle, the Fake News Media, are going insane - & they don't know what to do".

Coats later issued his own denial; and with three prominent administration members delivering on-the-record denials, the focus could now fall on other senior aides to do the same, with questions raised about those who stay silent. The poll numbers are through the roof.

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