Trump calls the NYT OpEd "gutless"— Salvador Hernandez (@SalHernandez) September 5, 2018
"They don't like Donald Trump and I don't like them" pic.twitter.com/6KFCungtpi
If his late-night Twitter rants are anything to go by, President Donald Trump isn’t very good at handling criticism.
Therefore, when the New York Times published an anonymous op-ed authored by a senior White House official calling out the commander-in-chief’s “amorality” and “impulsiveness,” Trump’s angry reaction was more or less expected.
“So if the failing New York Times has an anonymous editorial – can you believe it? Meaning gutless, a gutless editorial,” the president told reporters during a gathering with sheriffs in the East Room.
He also blasted the publication on social media, going as far as to question if the high-ranking official even existed before demanding the New York Times to turn them in for “national security” – whatever that meant.
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
Trump also tweeted this:
TREASON?— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 5, 2018
Needless to say, the one-worded tweet sparked a lot of online reaction:
give me one TREASON? to stay here and i'll turn right back around https://t.co/AvPMT6sPCm— Bec Shaw (@Brocklesnitch) September 5, 2018
“TREASON?”— David Ellis ?? (@davidgeoffrey) September 5, 2018
“No, grass sir” pic.twitter.com/9bVaPyVxtb
TANNING BED?— Michael Urie (@michaelurie) September 6, 2018
“Treason?” pic.twitter.com/DjNJni4FvC— James Felton (@JimMFelton) September 5, 2018
Is it Treason’s Greetings or Season’s Treason?— DrShark ?????? (@DrShark) September 5, 2018
I really wanna get my holiday cards right this year.
And the best of all:
tree son pic.twitter.com/Ul0um6zUBN— Ariel Edwards-Levy (@aedwardslevy) September 5, 2018
Meanwhile, as Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) was quick to point out, the op-ed (and all the details within) does not tantamount to treason.
Lindsey Graham just responded to Trump's treason tweet on CNN: "This is not treason under the Constitution."— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) September 5, 2018
“Treason against the United States shall consist only in levying War against them, or in adhering to their Enemies, giving them Aid and Comfort,” read Article III, Section 3 of the Constitution. “No Person shall be convicted of Treason unless on the Testimony of two Witnesses to the same overt Act, or on Confession in open Court. The Congress shall have Power to declare the Punishment of Treason, but no Attainder of Treason shall work Corruption of Blood, or Forfeiture except during the Life of the Person attainted.”
Later, Trump also tweeted:
I’m draining the Swamp, and the Swamp is trying to fight back. Don’t worry, we will win!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 6, 2018
The op-ed, titled “I Am Part of the Resistance Inside the Trump Administration,” discussed how some members of the administration – including the author – were working “diligently” to save the country from Trump’s bad decisions and disastrous policies.
“The erratic behavior would be more concerning if it weren’t for unsung heroes in and around the White House. Some of his aides have been cast as villains by the media. But in private, they have gone to great lengths to keep bad decisions contained to the West Wing, though they are clearly not always successful,” it read. “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. The result is a two-track presidency.”
The New York Times explained that it knows the identity of the author and refrained from revealing it to protect the said person’s job, but that didn’t stop people from contemplating who it could be.
Interestingly, it the usage of one particular word with in the op-ed that led many to believe the culprit behind the article is none other than Trump’s second-in-command, Vice President Mike Pence.
“We may no longer have Senator [John] McCain. But we will always have his example — a lodestar for restoring honor to public life and our national dialogue,” the senior White House official wrote. “Mr. Trump may fear such honorable men, but we should revere them.”
As many people were quick to point out, Pence has a history of using the term “lodestar.” However, the other possibility is that the author could’ve included the word deliberately to make Pence look guilty in Trump’s eyes.
White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders also released a statement slamming the author.
“The individual behind this piece has chosen to deceive, rather than support, the duly elected president of the United States,” it read. “He’s not putting the country first, putting himself and his ego ahead of the will of the American people. This coward should do the right thing and resign.”
Thumbnail/Banner Credits: Reuters, Leah Millis