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18 Feb, 2020 22:39

Trump tells media he KNOWS who White House leakers are, including #Resistance member Anonymous

Trump tells media he KNOWS who White House leakers are, including #Resistance member Anonymous

President Donald Trump told reporters that he knows the identity of the anonymous insider who penned a scathing op-ed and book about the inner workings of his administration, but stayed cagey about what he intends to do about it.

An anonymous New York Times op-ed entitled “I Am Part of the Resistance Inside the Trump Administration,” made waves when it was published in September 2018. Its author, describing themselves as a “senior official” in the Trump White House, painted a picture of a president in disarray and a staff of aides and officials working to undermine his “reckless” agenda.

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The author’s identity remained a secret for over a year, even when they published a book last year revealing more gossip from inside the White House. However, rumors circulated in recent weeks that the undercover anti-Trumper is deputy national security adviser Victoria Coates, a former aide to Senator Ted Cruz (R-Texas). An Axios article claiming that Coates will soon be moved from her post gained some traction on Monday, and Trump told reporters on Tuesday that he knows the identity of the anonymous scribe.

“Is there a search underway for Anonymous?” a reporter asked the president.

“Yeah there is,” Trump replied. "It’s not so much a search...I know who it is.”

Trump declined to name the supposed author, but added that he is aware of other “leakers” within his administration, cited anonymously by the press in negative pieces about him.

“When I want to get something out to the press, I tell certain people,” he said. “And it’s amazing, it gets out there.”

Anonymous’ book, entitled “A Warning,” was published in November. An expanded version of the 2018 op-ed, it continued in the same vein, describing Trump as a leader who “stumbles, slurs, gets confused, is easily irritated, and has trouble synthesizing information."

The book was poorly received by even the liberal press, with the Washington Post’s Carlos Lozada slamming its tired cliches and brushing it off as more anti-Trump “noise.” Still, it managed to create enough of a stir inside the White House that efforts were made to out its author, with press secretary Stephanie Grisham saying on Tuesday that Anonymous “needs to be found.”

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If Trump knows and fires or reassigns Anonymous, the mysterious author will join the handful of administration officials purged from his administration following his acquittal in the Senate impeachment trial earlier this month. Trump has already sacked Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman and his twin brother Yevgeny from the National Security Council, as well as US Ambassador to the EU Gordon Sondland. Both Lt. Col. Vindman and Sondland testified against him during the House Democrats’ impeachment inquiry. 

The president has also withdrawn the nomination of former US Attorney Jessie Liu to a Treasury position, leaving the former lawyer jobless, allegedly after her handling of the legal case against former Trump campaign adviser Roger Stone.

With Stone due to be sentenced on Thursday for lying to Congress, Trump told reporters on Tuesday that he “could get involved” in pardoning his former adviser. 

“I’m actually, I guess, the chief law enforcement officer of the country,” he said. “I could be involved if I want to be.” 

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