Donald Trump his several theories regarding the identity of the senior administration official allegedly leading a resistance movement from within his own White House.
The president, 72, responded to Wednesday’s headline-making The New York Times op-ed on Twitter, claiming the famed publication made up their anonymous author.
“Does the so-called ‘Senior Administration Official’ really exist, or is it just the Failing New York Times with another phony source?” Trump wrote.
He went on to say that the author’s identity should be revealed, after first suggesting that if the person were real, he or she would be committing “treason.”
“If the GUTLESS anonymous person does indeed exist, the Times must, for National Security purposes, turn him/her over to government at once!” Trump added on Wednesday night.
Does the so-called “Senior Administration Official” really exist, or is it just the Failing New York Times with another phony source? If the GUTLESS anonymous person does indeed exist, the Times must, for National Security purposes, turn him/her over to government at once!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 5, 2018
TREASON?— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 5, 2018
Earlier, Trump had addressed the op-ed to reporters at the White House’s East Room. He tweeted partial video of his address.
“This is what we have to deal with. And, you know, the dishonest media — because you people deal with it as well as I do — but it’s really a disgrace,” Trump said. “When you tell me about some anonymous source within the administration, probably who’s failing and probably here for all the wrong reasons — no.”
“The New York Times is failing,” the former Celebrity Apprentice host added. “If I weren’t here, I believe The New York Times probably wouldn’t even exist. And someday when I’m not president, which hopefully will be about 6½ years from now, The New York Times and CNN and all of these phony outlets will be out of business. Because there will be nothing to write and there will be nothing of interest.”
He continued: “They don’t like Donald Trump and I don’t like them because they are very dishonest people.”
The Failing New York Times! pic.twitter.com/SHsXvYKpBf— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 5, 2018
In the Times‘ op-ed, titled “I Am Part of the Resistance Inside the Trump Administration,” the anonymous author claimed that many senior White House officials are secretly working to “thwart” the president’s “misguided impulses” and “worst inclinations” until he is out of office.
The author blasted Trump’s “amorality” and “anti-democratic” actions, and accused the president of attacking conservative ideals including “free minds, free markets and free people.”
“Meetings with him veer off topic and off the rails, he engages in repetitive rants, and his impulsiveness results in half-baked, ill-informed and occasionally reckless decisions that have to be walked back,” the author wrote.
Additionally, the op-ed claimed that concerned cabinet members at first considered invoking the 25th Amendment to remove Trump from office but ultimately decided against it because “no one wanted to precipitate a constitutional crisis.”
“So we will do what we can to steer the administration in the right direction until — one way or another — it’s over,” the author wrote, later adding: “It may be cold comfort in this chaotic era, but Americans should know that there are adults in the room. 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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The White House did not respond to PEOPLE’s request for comment about the op-ed, but press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders released a statement calling on the author of the op-ed to 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.”