- Republicans are upset about The New York Times op-ed by an anonymous senior administration official who claims there are individuals working against certain actions by President Donald Trump.
- But the GOP lawmakers upset with the op-ed did not particularly care for its content.
- Rather, they are enraged that the person would write such a thing.
- The identity of the senior official who wrote the op-ed has not been made public.
WASHINGTON – Republicans on Capitol Hill condemned as an irresponsible betrayal the New York Times op-ed written by an anonymous senior administration official who admitted to covertly undermining President Donald Trump.
But most have lashed out at the fact it was published in the first place – not the content of what was written.
The op-ed published Wednesday noted 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” and that Trump’s instability has prompted “whispers within the cabinet of invoking the 25th Amendment” to remove him from office.
The individual who wrote the op-ed, while described as a senior official, has not been identified.
Thursday morning on Capitol Hill, Republicans were enraged about the op-ed – or, more specifically, that the author would commit such an act.
House Speaker Paul Ryan took issue with the anonymous author of the op-ed, telling reporters that “a person who works in the administration serves at the pleasure of the president.”
“It’s a person obviously who is living in dishonesty,” Ryan said. “That doesn’t help the president. So if you’re not interested in helping the president, then you shouldn’t work for the president as far as I’m concerned.”
Ryan also shrugged off any of the concerns expressed by the author as well as several other GOP lawmakers who have been critical of the president’s fitness for office.
“What I concern myself about are the results of government and the results of government are good results,” he said. “I know the president is very unconventional. I know his tweeting and unconventional tactics bother people, but the results of government are good results.”
Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas told TMZ the op-ed was “certainly troubling,” but that the “phenomenon is nothing new” for individuals who try to undermine Republican presidents from within the US government.
“That’s been true in past Republican presidencies that you’ve had Democrats within the government fighting to resist the priorities. But it’s never been this bad,” Cruz said. “It’s never been this many partisans deeply within the machinery of government, fighting to try to prevent what we’re trying to accomplish.”
Outing the author
While Ryan said he did not know of any role Congress would have in investigating who authored the op-ed, House Freedom Caucus Chairman Mark Meadows suggested different.
“We’re looking right now at what’s the appropriate action from a legislative standpoint to review what’s happened,” Meadows told USA Today. “It is alarming when you have people … that would suggest resistance to the president that they’re serving, especially in light of discussion that may go into the national security realm.”
It is not exactly clear what could be done to find out who the author is as it relates to congressional authority. Regardless, Republicans have routinely claimed there are “deep state” foes working inside the administration to prevent Trump from doing his job, a view the op-ed will likely only further enforce.
On the other side of the political aisle, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi joked that Vice President Mike Pence was her first guess as the culprit. On a more serious note, Pelosi said that Trump’s reaction to the op-ed is a “manifestation of his instability” and that the author’s supposed actions to subvert the president are insufficient.
“Republicans in Congress have enabled so much of the mayhem that exists in the White House to occur without any comment,” she told reporters in a Thursday press conference. “The president has to know that when a president speaks, his words weigh a ton. So if some in the White House think that correcting this behind the scenes is a consolation, I don’t think it’s good enough.”