Trump wants Sessions to investigate op-ed writer

Saturday, 08 Sep, 2018

In the wake of a scathing New York Times op-ed written by an anonymous senior member of the Trump administration, officials say the president's paranoia and distrust of his own staff are deepening.

He said it was a "disgrace" for the newspaper to have published the op-ed from a purported senior administration official. "They need to take steps that are more bold".

Mr Trump also said he was considering taking action against the newspaper, causing its share price to dip. "But what I do is, now I look around the room and I say 'Hey I don't know somebody'". "Anyone from the outside can see how dysfunctional it is, and you're complicit" if you are a political appointee.

Trump has accused the New York Times of committing "treason" after the paper published the article on Wednesday, which claimed that a coalition was at work within the administration to thwart Trump's "worst inclinations". But another anxious that it could spur an "Erdogan-style purge" of the self-styled faithful servants of the people.

The Justice Department will not confirm or deny whether an investigation has been launched.

"But it didn't accomplish anything, because Trump's base could care less, the president could care less". What if Trump were to replace them with loyalist hacks from the campaign, like Boris Epshteyn? "So, yes, I think we need to get to the bottom of it".

A June 1974 Associated Press report quoted Nixon as saying, "I don't know much about these things, but it scares the (expletive deleted) out of them".

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As the New York Post noted, the op-ed used the term "lodestar", a seldom-used word that is a favorite of Vice President Mike Pence.

The op-ed author wrote that Trump administration officials were a check on the president's erratic behavior, including some of his decisions on foreign policy and national security. "That somebody is allowed to do that is very sad commentary", Trump said onboard Air Force One.

"Well, Sarah Sanders left your number so we could complain, but I support the New York Times", the transcribed message read.

If anything, the anonymous sources in Woodward's book, and the author of the op-ed, are seeking to protect the American people and the USA government from a president and top advisors who seek to dismantle it.

Trump also said that if the individual who wrote the op-ed has a high-level security clearance, "I don't want him in those meetings".

That a covert network of officials was operating within the government to derail Trump's agenda became clear in the first months of the presidency.