In a rare move, the editors of The New York Times released an anonymous op-ed from an alleged senior official in the Trump administration.
The op-ed details what the writer claims to be a revolution within the administration, led by officials working to balance out the “amorality” of the president.
The opinion piece read, “It’s not just that the special counsel looms large. Or that the country is bitterly divided over Mr. Trump’s leadership. Or even that his party might well lose the House to an opposition hellbent on his downfall. 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. I would know. I am one of them.”
The op-ed goes on to argue that “the root of the problem is the president’s amorality,” writing, “Anyone who works with him knows he is not moored to any discernible first principles that guide his decision making. Although he was elected as a Republican, the president shows little affinity for ideals long espoused by conservatives: free minds, free markets and free people. At best, he has invoked these ideals in scripted settings. At worst, he has attacked them outright.”
The op-ed writer aims to reassure Americans that there are “adults in the room.” He writes, “We fully recognize what is happening. And we are trying to do what’s right even when Donald Trump won’t.”
The staffer even went on to suggest that some officials are considering invoking the 25th Amendment, which involves the removal of the president.
But who is the anonymous op-ed writer? Of course, Twitter users immediately began to speculate about the identity of the senior official.
Speculation Over Anonymous Senior Trump Official Grows
One Twitter user replied, “It’s Pence isn’t it”
Another user asked, “Was it Ivanka?”
Other suspects included Jared Kushner and John Kelly, though Pence seemed to be the most prevalent theory. One user tweeted, “I wonder if Pence needed mother to come with him when he dropped the op-ed off at a coffee shop”
Other users wanted to know if the anonymous source was truly one individual, or a conglomerate of individuals speaking as one voice.
The editors of The New York Times explained the reasoning behind keeping the senior official anonymous: revealing his or her name would lead to their job “being jeopardized by the disclosure.” However, The Times did reveal that the official was a male, via the pronouns assigned in one of the headlines for the piece.
The only other detail given by the Times was that the official was “senior.” So how many senior officials are there?
Omarosa Manigeault Claims to Give Hints to Who the Senior Official Is in Her Memoir, ‘Unhinged’
Following the release of the article, Omarosa Manigeault-Newman tweeted, “I give clues to who from inside 45’s WH wrote the
@nytimes Op-Ed on page ((330)) of Unhinged.”
In the thread beneath her tweet, a user asked if it was the White House chef and Manigeault-Newman replied back with a suggestive emoji face, though it’s unclear whether she’s serious or not.
On page 330 (which was shared to Twitter), Manigeault-Newman talks about John Kelly and Keith Schiller.
The 24 Top Officials in Trump’s Cabinet
The top 24 officials in Trump’s cabinet, as of March 2018, are as follows:
- Scott Pruitt
- Daniel Coats
- Nikki Haley
- John Kelly
- Robert Lighthizer
- Mick Mulvaney
- Gina Haspel
- Linda McMahon
- Kirstjen Nielson
- Alex Azar
- Robert Wilkie
- Betsy DeVos
- Alexander Acosta
- Dr. Ben Carson
- Elaine L. Chao
- Rick Perry
- Jeff Sessions
- Mike Pompeo
- Steve Mnuchin
- James Mattis
- Wilbur Ross
- Sonny Perdue
- Ryan Zinke
Of course, this does not comprise the full list of senior officials for the White House. Other senior officials include White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders, for example.
What’s more, this does not comprise the full list of senior officials who have since left the White House, though it seems unlikely that this article came from a former official and not a current one. According to CNN, another 35 senior officials in addition to this list have been a part of the Trump administration for some measure of time before leaving it.
List of Active Senior Officials in the Trump Administration Who Have Spoken Out Against Trump
Another way to think about the op-ed could be to take note of who has spoken out against the Trump administration in the past. Here is a list of senior officials who have, in one way or another, spoken up or out about the president. Jeff Sessions in particular has had an ongoing public back-and-forth with the president, though that doesn’t necessarily mean he’s any more likely to have written the op-ed than any other senior official.
Some Twitter users are wondering if the name will be released after the administration is no longer in power. The New York Times has offered to answer questions about the op-ed, but none of those questions provide much further clarification about the identity of the official.