The Latest: Trump ally wants Congress to look into op-ed
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on an anonymous New York Times opinion piece claiming there’s a “resistance” working within President Donald Trump’s administration (all times local):
A congressional ally of President Donald Trump says he thinks Congress could investigate which senior administration official wrote an anonymous New York Times opinion piece criticizing the president.
Rep. Mark Meadows, R-N.C., says he thinks the issue is “serious from a national security standpoint.” He is the chairman of a House subcommittee that oversees the president’s executive office and a founder of conservative Freedom Caucus.
Meadows, chairman of the conservative House Freedom Caucus, said he disagrees with House Speaker Paul Ryan, who said earlier in the day that he doesn’t know what role Congress would have in investigating the opinion piece. The anonymous author claims to be part of a “resistance” to Trump.
Meadows said that “we are looking at what is proper” to investigate but said he hasn’t yet taken “concrete steps.”
Many members of Trump Cabinet have denied writing the column.
Melania Trump says the anonymous author of a critical opinion piece about President Donald Trump is “sabotaging” the country through “cowardly actions.”
The first lady says in a statement Thursday that “if a person is bold enough to accuse people of negative actions, they have a responsibility to publicly stand by their words and people have the right to be able to defend themselves.”
She directly addresses the unidentified senior administration official who is said to have written the piece published by The New York Times: “To the writer of the oped – you are not protecting this country, you are sabotaging it with your cowardly actions.”
The anonymous author wrote that Trump administration officials are actively working to prevent Trump from carrying out his worst instincts.
House Speaker Paul Ryan says whoever wrote an anonymous New York Times opinion column claiming officials in President Donald Trump’s administration are preventing Trump from carrying out his worst instincts is “living in dishonesty” and shouldn’t work for him.
Ryan said Thursday he understands Trump’s tweeting and “unconventional tactics” bother people. But the Wisconsin Republican says Trump is producing “good results.”
The Times’ opinion piece is attributed to a senior administration official, who writes that some officials are acting as “adults in the room” and frustrating Trump from following through on his “worst inclinations.”
Trump has called the editorial gutless and a disgrace and says the Times should turn the writer over to the government.
The Times says publishing the essay anonymously was “the only way to deliver an important perspective” to its readers.
Add the director of national intelligence to the list of Trump administration officials who say they didn’t write the anonymous opinion piece in The New York Times that said an internal “resistance” was working to thwart some of President Donald Trump’s efforts.
Dan Coats says speculation that either he or his top deputy wrote the op-ed is “patently false. We did not.”
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo (pahm-PAY’-oh) has denied writing an anonymous New York Times opinion piece that said an internal “resistance” was working to thwart some of President Donald Trump’s efforts.
Pompeo spoke to reporters after a Thursday meeting in New Delhi with top Indian officials and said, “It’s not mine.”
He says “It shouldn’t surprise anyone” that the New York Times chose to print “such a piece.” He says if the piece actually was written by a top U.S. official “they should not well have chosen to take a disgruntled, deceptive, bad actor’s word for anything.”
Pompeo accuses the media of trying to undermine the Trump administration and says he finds it “incredibly disturbing.”
The Times says publishing the essay anonymously is “the only way to deliver an important perspective” to its readers.
An opinion piece in The New York Times by an anonymous senior administration official claiming to be part of a “resistance” working “from within” to thwart President Donald Trump’s “worst inclinations” has set off a wild guessing game on the author’s identity.
In an extraordinary move, Trump tweeted Wednesday that if “the GUTLESS anonymous person does indeed exist, the Times must, for National Security purposes, turn him/her over to government at once!”
White House officials didn’t immediately respond to a request to elaborate on Trump’s call for the writer to be turned over to the government.
Two people familiar with the matter say Trump has demanded that aides identify the leaker. The two were not authorized to speak publicly and spoke on condition of anonymity.