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New York Times Trump op-ed denied by senior officials

September 6, 2018 6:00 pm

A number of top US officials have denied that they are the author of a damning anonymous editorial that attacks President Donald Trump.

The New York Times article, said to be written by a senior White House official, says Mr Trump’s appointees are trying to stifle his agenda.

There is fierce speculation over who is responsible – with the vice-president among those to deny any involvement.

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Mr Trump has described the writer as “gutless” and the newspaper as “phony”.

A spokesman for Vice-President Mike Pence has dismissed claims that he wrote the op-ed.

“The vice president puts his name on his op-eds,” tweeted Jarron Agen, Mr Pence’s communications director and deputy chief of staff.

“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.”

The theory that Mr Pence wrote the article largely stems from the use of the word “lodestar”, a term meaning “star that leads or guides” and one which the vice-president has frequently used.

In the New York Times piece, published on Wednesday, the author refers to the late Republican Senator John McCain as a “lodestar for restoring honour to public life and our national dialogue”.

Several other cabinet members and top officials have also denied writing the piece.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo attacked the writer as a “disgruntled deceptive bad actor”, adding: “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.”

Meanwhile, a spokesman Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin described the anonymous piece as “irresponsible”, while a spokesman for the Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen said: “These types of political attacks are beneath the secretary and the department’s mission”.

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