Thu. 8:49 a.m.: Searing Trump op-ed sets off wild guessing game

Sheriffs listens as President Donald Trump responds to a reporters question during an event in the East Room of the White House in Washington, Wednesday, Sept. 5, 2018. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

WASHINGTON (AP) — 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” set off a wild guessing game inside and outside the White House on the author’s identity.

Swift denials of involvement in the op-ed came this morning from top administration officials, including the office of Vice President Mike Pence, and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

Trump himself was furious, tweeting this morning that “The Deep State and the Left, and their vehicle, the Fake News Media, are going Crazy – & they don’t know what to do.”

On Wednesday night, Trump tweeted a demand 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 press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders called on the “coward” who wrote the piece to “do the right thing and resign.”

White House officials did not immediately respond to a request to elaborate on Trump’s call for the writer to be turned over to the government or the unsupported national security ground of his demand. To some, the ultimatum appeared to play into the very concerns about the president’s impulses raised by the essay’s author.

The author, claiming to be part of the “resistance” to Trump “working diligently from within” his administration, said, “Many Trump appointees have vowed to do what we can to preserve our democratic institutions while thwarting Mr. Trump’s more misguided impulses until he is out of office.”

“It may be cold comfort in this chaotic era, but Americans should know that there are adults in the room,” the author continued. “We fully recognize what is happening. And we are trying to do what’s right even when Donald Trump won’t.”

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