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Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 17 December 2018

Twitter and DC abuzz with big question: who is the New York Times’ anonymous author?

Senior White House figures such as vice president Mike Pence and chief of staff John Kelly have been mooted

There is feverish speculation about who is the author of a New York Times article that apparently reveals cabinet members discussed removing President Trump from office. Michael Nagle/Bloomberg News
There is feverish speculation about who is the author of a New York Times article that apparently reveals cabinet members discussed removing President Trump from office. Michael Nagle/Bloomberg News

Across Washington, the race started to reveal the name of the senior official who apparently authored the New York Times piece that revealed cabinet members had discussed invoking the 25th Amendment which would allow them to remove President Trump from office:

Speculation over Twitter centred on senior White House officials. Vice president Mike Pence’s name surfaced as one suggestion, mostly because of the inclusion of the word ‘lodestar’ in the article, a distinctive word that Mr Pence has used repeatedly in the past:

Other speculation pointed the finger at, alternatively, chief of staff John Kelly, economic adviser Larry Kudlow, secretary of defense James Mattis or Attorney General Jeff Sessions:

The piece itself suggested that the author is a hawk on Russia, as well as being a conservative, traditional Republican who is pro-trade and pro-democratic ideals and a free press.

Also judging from the piece, the official has spent considerable time around Mr Trump, and followed policies and debates that go back to the early months of the presidency, such as the expulsion of Russian diplomats.

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Read more:

Cabinet members discussed removing Trump from office, according to unnamed senior figure

Donald Trump wanted Syrian leader Bashar Al Assad killed, says Bob Woodward book

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As for the gender of the official, it’s a guess as well, after the New York Times said its Twitter account made a mistake identifying the official as a “he”:

Predictably Mr Trump has already suggested the author has indulged in treason:

He went on to demand that the newspaper turn over the 'GUTLESS’ person who wrote the piece to the government:

An official statement from the White House press secretary, Sarah Sanders, said: “Nearly 62 million people voted for President Donald J Trump in 2016, earning him 306 Electoral College votes – versus 232 for his opponent. None of them voted for a gutless, anonymous source to the failing New York Times. We are disappointed, but not surprised, that the paper chose to publish this pathetic, reckless, and selfish op-ed … This is just another example of the liberal media’s concerted effort to discredit the president.”

She added: “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.”

But others in his party including Senator Lindsey Graham have pushed back against the allegation of treason: