- A deluge of White House senior officials have denied writing the bombshell anonymous New York Times op-ed article, whose author the paper described only as “a senior official in the Trump administration.”
- There was speculation that Vice President Mike Pence was the author because of the column’s use of the word “lodestar,” but he denied having written it.
- Secretary of State Mike Pompeo suggested the op-ed article was written by a “disgruntled deceptive bad actor” and said the author should leave the White House.
As speculation swirls over the identity of the author of the controversial New York Times op-ed article, described by the paper only as “a senior official in the Trump administration,” a lineup of White House officials have denied writing it.
The column details an effort to undermine Trump’s authority and slams the president on an array of issues.
Since its publication, several senior administration officials have stepped forward to say they’re not the author. Here are their statements.
Vice President Mike Pence
Pence’s office released a statement on Thursday morning denying that the vice president was the op-ed article’s author.
There had been speculation that he was the author because of the column’s inclusion of the word “lodestar,” which Pence has used in several speeches.
Pence’s communications director, Jarrod Agen, said in a tweet: “The Vice President puts his name on his Op-Eds.”
Agen continued: “The @nytimes should be ashamed and so should the person who wrote the false, illogical, and gutless op-ed. Our office is above such amateur acts.”
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo
Pompeo, who is travelling in India, told reporters at an embassy meet-and-greet that he was not the author.
“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,” Pompeo said.
The secretary of state described the op-ed article’s author as a “disgruntled, deceptive bad actor.”
“I have to tell you, I find the media’s efforts in this regard to undermine this administration incredibly disturbing,” he added, according to The Times.
Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats
Coats released a statement on Thursday morning about the op-ed article.
“Speculation that The New York Times op-ed was written by me or my Principal Deputy is patently false. We did not,” he said. “From the beginning of our tenure, we have insisted that the entire [intelligence community] remain focused on our mission to provide the President and policymakers with the best intelligence possible.”
Secretary of the Treasury Steven Mnuchin
Tony Sayegh Jr., the assistant secretary of public affairs for the US Treasury, said on Twitter that Mnuchin did not write the op-ed article.
Mnuchin “is honored to serve @POTUS & the American people,” Sayegh said. “He feels it was irresponsible for @nytimes to print this anonymous piece. Now, dignified public servants are forced to deny being the source. It is laughable to think this could come from the Secretary.”
Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen
Nielsen’s press secretary, Tyler Houlton, released a statement denying that Nielsen was the author of the op-ed article, according to The Hill.
“Secretary Nielsen is focused on leading the men & women of DHS and protecting the homeland – not writing anonymous & false opinion pieces for the New York Times,” the statement said, adding, “These types of political attacks are beneath the Secretary & the Department’s mission.”
Secretary of Defence Jim Mattis
A Pentagon spokeswoman, Dana White, told Reuters on Thursday that Mattis had denied writing the op-ed article.
“It was not his op-ed,” White said.
Secretary of Energy Rick Perry
Perry tweeted a statement on Thursday denying that he was the author.
“I am not the author of the New York Times OpEd, nor do I agree with its characterizations,” he said. “Hiding behind anonymity and smearing the President of the United States does not make you an ‘unsung hero,’ it makes you a coward, unworthy of serving this Nation.”
Kellyanne Conway, counselor to the president
“Of course not,” Conway told NBC News.
Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross
Ross tweeted a statement on Thursday denying any involvement in the op-ed article. He included a tweet from the White House press secretary, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, encouraging people to call The Times for information about the author.
“I did not write and am thoroughly appalled by this op-ed,” Ross said. “I couldn’t be prouder of our work at Commerce and of @POTUS.”
Nikki Haley, the US’s ambassador to the UN
When asked by CNN if she wrote the op-ed article, Haley said, “No.”
Education Secretary Betsy DeVos
A press secretary for the Department of Education wrote a statement on Twitter denying DeVos’s involvement in the op-ed.
The statement said: “[email protected] is not a Washington insider and does not play Washington insider games. She has the courage of her convictions and signs her opinions. She is not the author of the anonymous @nytimes op-ed.”
Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson
“The Secretary didn’t write the op-ed,” Raffi Williams, spokesman for Housing Secretary Ben Carson, said.
Mick Mulvaney, director of the Office of Management and Budget
“No, Dir. Mulvaney is not the author,” a representative for Mulvaney told NBC News.
Veterans Affairs Secretary Robert Wilkie
A representative for the Department of Veterans Affairs told NBC News that “neither Secretary Wilkie nor anyone else at VA wrote the op-ed.”
Labour Secretary Alex Acosta
A representative for the Department of Labour told NBC News: “The Secretary does not play these sophomoric Washington games. He is definitively not the author.”
CIA Director Gina Haspel
Haspel’s press secretary, Tim Barrett, told NBC News, “No!”
Andrew Wheeler, acting administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency
A representative for the EPA told NBC News: “Acting Administrator Wheeler supports President Trump 100 per cent and is honored to serve in his Cabinet. He also believes whoever wrote the op-ed should resign.”
Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue
A representative for the Department of Agriculture told NBC News, “No, Secretary Perdue did not write the op-ed.”
Michawn Rich, spokeswoman for Perdue, told the Associated Press, “No to all of your questions,” when asked whether Perdue had any role in the column or knew who wrote it.
Linda McMahon, administrator of the Small Business Administration
An agency representative told NBC News that “Administrator McMahon is not the author.”
McMahon later tweeted: “I am not author of the anonymous @nytimes op-ed. @realDonaldTrump has a clear governing vision for the country and his record of results is remarkable. I am proud to serve as a member of President Trump’s @Cabinet to advocate on behalf of America’s 30 million small businesses.”
White House counsel Don McGahn
When asked outside a confirmation hearing for the Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh on Thursday whether he wrote the op-ed article, McGahn said, “No.”
Secretary of Transportation Elaine Chao
A representative from the Department of Transportation’s communications office told The Associated Press, “For those who have inquired, this is to confirm that Secretary Chao is not the author of the op-ed.”
Jon Huntsman, the US’s ambassador to Russia
Andrea Kalan, a spokeswoman for Huntsman in Russia, tweeted a statement on Thursday denying that Huntsman was involved in the op-ed article.
“Amb Huntsman: Come to find, when you’re serving as the U.S. envoy in Moscow, you’re an easy target on all sides,” the statement said. “Anything sent out by me would have carried my name. An early political lesson I learned: never send an anonymous op-ed.”
US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer
“I did not write it,” Lighthizer said in a statement to CNN. “It does not reflect my views at all, and it does not reflect the views of anyone I know in the Administration. It is a complete and total fabrication.”
Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke
When asked if Zinke authored the op-ed, a spokeswoman for the Interior Secretary told CNN: “No, he did not.”
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