WASHINGTON, D.C. — President Donald Trump faces organized opposition from within his own administration who want to “frustrate parts of his agenda and his worst inclinations,” according to an op-ed published Wednesday in The New York Times by an anonymous author.
The writer, identified only as a senior Trump administration official, said that he and others in government have vowed to thwart the president’s “more misguided impulses until he is out of office.”
“The root of the problem is the president’s amorality,” the person wrote. “Anyone who works with him knows he is not moored to any discernible first principles that guide his decision making.”
The New York Times said in a note appended to the op-ed that it knew the author’s identity but that “publishing this essay anonymously is the only way to deliver an important perspective to our readers.” The writer indicated that he or she is a political appointee, not a career civil servant —a class of federal employees that some Trump allies have long derided as a “deep state” set on undermining him.
Trump called the op-ed “a disgrace” and the writer “gutless” during an event with sheriffs at the White House on Wednesday. The official is “probably here for all the wrong reasons,” Trump continued, and then declared that he would win re-election in 2020.
White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said in a statement that the author of the op-ed should resign.
“The individual behind this piece has chosen to deceive, rather than support, the duly elected President of the United States,” Sanders said. “He is not putting country first, but putting himself and his ego ahead of the will of the American people. This coward should do the right thing and resign.”
The op-ed comes just a day after excerpts of journalist Bob Woodward’s latest book were published, portraying a West Wing in chaos and quoting senior officials disparaging Trump’s leadership and competence.
The anonymous writer said “ours is not the popular ‘resistance’ of the left,” and cited “bright spots” of Trump’s tenure, including deregulation, tax reform and increased military spending.
“But these successes have come despite —not because of —the president’s leadership style, which is impetuous, adversarial, petty and ineffective,” the person wrote.