Trump lieutenants disavow explosive ‘resistance’ op-ed

WASHINGTON: Donald Trump’s top lieutenants scrambled on Thursday to deny authorship of an explosive op-ed article that has plunged his presidency into its worst crisis yet by proclaiming a secret insider resistance to his reckless, “amoral” leadership.
The White House has been convulsed since Wednesday by a fevered hunt for the senior official who declared, in an unsigned article for The New York Times, that “unsung heroes” were quietly working within the administration to frustrate the president’s “worst inclinations.”
Vice-President Mike Pence, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats stepped forward, one after another, with their own version of the same message: “Not me.”
But the Internet and Trump’s own aides were abuzz with speculation over who the unnamed official might be and whether the act of defiance was tantamount to a coup in the making.
“TREASON?” Trump asked in a furious volley of tweets.
Moving to squelch Internet speculation, Pence’s spokesman said the vice-president did not write the article.
“The Vice-President puts his name on his Op-eds. The @nytimes should be ashamed and so should the person who wrote the false, illogical, and gutless op-ed,” Agen wrote on Twitter.
“Our office is above such amateur acts.” The manifesto followed a bombshell book by Watergate reporter Bob Woodward, who portrayed Trump’s White House as an out-of-control “crazytown.”
The Woodward book, “Fear: Trump in the White House,” reported that senior aides lifted documents from the Oval Office desk to keep the president from acting on his impulses, reinforcing the assertions in the Times op-ed piece.
News of the letter caught up with Pompeo in New Delhi, where he was travelling with US Defence Secretary Jim Mattis.
Pompeo denied writing the article, calling the Times’ decision to publish “sad” and “disturbing.”
“I come from a place where if you’re not in a position to execute the commander’s intent, you have a singular option, that is to leave,” he said. — AFP