'Trump will go nuclear': Pundits respond to anonymous 'coup' published by NYT
Pundits are lining up to weigh in on a salacious New York Times op-ed allegedly penned by an anonymous #Resister in the Trump administration, with some experts on television calling the piece an all-out coup against the president.
The opinion piece in question, "I Am Part of the Resistance Inside the Trump Administration," has spawned a level of frenetic punditry not seen since George W. Bush was spotted sneaking Michelle Obama a cough drop. Only this time the stakes are allegedly much higher.
MSNBC's Nicolle Wallace said on Wednesday the stunning claims made in the anonymous op-ed – for example, that there is a group of "adults" in the White House who believe Trump is unfit to hold office and are trying to shape policy behind the president's back – are akin to "a coup."
"In other countries... they sometimes call this a coup," Wallace said on MSNBC's Deadline: White House, referring to the article's assertion that there is a "resistance" made up of administration officials which aims to protect the republic from Trump's "amorality."
Another MSNBC talking head, Howard Fineman, said that he was troubled by the fact that the op-ed appears to describe how "unelected aides have staged a slo-mo coup." Impeachment – not "frenzy, mutiny and rumors" – is the antidote to Trump's criminal unfitness for public service, he added.
The @nytimes essay is troubling. Why? 1. The dangerous, ignorant volatility of @realDonaldTrump. 2. The claim by UNELECTED aides to have staged a slo-mo coup. 3. The NYT letting the accuser hide. #Trump’s unfit, but caution: impeachment—not frenzy, mutiny and rumor—is the answer.— Howard Fineman (@howardfineman) 6 сентября 2018 г.
But others were even less impressed by the anonymous scoop-provider. Fox News host Sean Hannity called the author of the op-ed a "swamp sewer creature who can't stand that there is a new sheriff in town."
Hannity calls the senior Trump administration official who wrote the NYT op-ed a "swamp sewer creature."So, yeah.— Chris Cillizza (@CillizzaCNN) September 6, 2018
Speaking with Hannity on his program, former Republican House Speaker Newt Gingrich said that the anonymous author had "repudiated our whole constitutional process."
"When you think about it it's an amazing statement of their willingness to make themselves bigger than the entire American system," Gingrich said.
Dana Perino, the former White House press secretary under George W. Bush, called the mysterious author of the op-ed "extremely self-indulgent."
"You should not be lapping up the benefits of being a senior administration official, no doubt while scouting for lucrative opportunities for when you leave your post," she said.
"If you are this person, you really should resign tonight."
Almost all of the nation's sharpest political minds were in agreement on one point, however: This mystery senior government official should reveal him/herself, in order to save America from fascism, or hokey #Resistance claptrap, depending on whom you ask.
The op-ed "just made things worse," conservative commentator and National Review senior fellow David French said. "Anonymous leaking won't take down Trump. A person of honor speaking openly would have far more impact."
1) The guy is real (no way the NYT puts forth a fake source);2) His story is likely largely true (perhaps exaggerated at the margins); 3) He’s just made things worse. 4) Anonymous leaking won’t take down Trump. A person of honor speaking openly would have far more impact— David French (@DavidAFrench) September 6, 2018
"If you are the author of this and you truly want to effectuate change... you want to do something in service to the nation, you have to come forward and sign your name to this.. Come forward. You could change the fate of the country..."- @DavidJollyFL w/ @NicolleDWallacepic.twitter.com/d9l7PMnzkj— Deadline White House (@DeadlineWH) September 5, 2018
"The thing about the op-ed is that reading its text, you can think the writer is 'principled,' as the NYT did. But in context, the author is a coward confessing to a coup and daring Trump to get worse," veteran journalist Dan Froomkin said. He added that he thought it was wrong of the Times not to identify the piece's author.
The thing about the op-ed is that reading its text, you can think the writer is “principled,” as the NYT did. But in context, the author is a coward confessing to a coup and daring Trump to get worse. They shouldna granted anonymity.— Dan Froomkin (@froomkin) September 6, 2018
Much has also been discussed about Trump's reaction to the article.
"Trump will go nuclear, making the efforts of this 'internal resistance' far harder," predicted Washington Post contributor Carlos Lozada. "What is the point of a secret cabal if you don't keep it secret?"
Gut reaction to NYT oped: 1) Feeds/confirms Trump's worst fears about the deep state plots2) Trump will go nuclear, making the efforts of this "internal resistance" far harder3) What is the point of a secret cabal if you don't keep it secret?— Carlos Lozada (@CarlosLozadaWP) September 5, 2018
Not everyone is calling for the anonymous author to come forward, however: At least one pundit claims to already know who penned the troubling opinion piece.
"We all know Putin wrote the op-ed and the NYT claimed it's a senior Trump official because they think that's true," Ben Shapiro tweeted.
We all know Putin wrote the op-ed and the NYT claimed it’s a senior Trump official because they think that’s true.— Ben Shapiro (@benshapiro) September 6, 2018
Think your friends would be interested? Share this story!