President Donald Trump once again suggested that a government entity should work against people who oppose him.
While aboard Air Force One, the president said that Attorney General Jeff Sessions should investigate who wrote the anonymous op-ed that was published by the New York Times.
“I would say Jeff [Sessions] should be investigating who the author of that piece was because I really believe it’s national security,” he said.
Trump further said, “We’re going to take a look at what he had, what he gave, what he’s talking about, also where he is right now. Supposing I have a high-level national security, and he has got a clearance, we talked about clearances a lot recently, and he goes into a high-level meeting concerning China or Russia or North Korea or something. I don’t want him in those meetings.”
Despite the president’s claim, it remains unclear what possible crime the Department of Justice would investigate in this matter.
The New York Times recently published an op-ed titled “I Am Part of the Resistance Inside the Trump Administration.” It was purportedly written by a senior official from within the White House and 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.
Towards the end of the piece that detailed the president’s “erratic behavior,” his “impulsiveness” and “repetitive rants,” the anonymous writer also talked about the possibility removing Trump from the office.
While the president called the author “gutless” and “coward.” His administration went into a complete meltdown after a bombshell op-ed.
In fact, White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders was so infuriated trying to defend the president when asked of the turmoil in the White House as portrayed in the op-ed, she posted the New York Times’ opinion desk’s number, probably hoping people would heckle the media organization.
Is Sanders thought the stunt, of basically asking people to harass a news organization, would take some attention off her trying to spin stories in the president’s favor, she was sadly mistaken.
The move massively backfired after the Times apparently got a massive number of calls — in support.
After Trump’s claim on a DoJ investigation, the New York Times released a statement that said, “We're confident that the Department of Justice understands that the First Amendment protects all American citizens and that it would not participate in such a blatant abuse of government power. The President's threats both underscore why we must safeguard the identity of the writer of this op-ed and serve as a reminder of the importance of a free and independent press to American democracy.”
The president also has a turbulent history with Sessions.
He has not been a huge fan of Attorney General Jeff Sessions ever since he decided to recuse himself from the ongoing probe into possible collusion between Trump’s election campaign and Russia.
On more than one occasion, the commander-in-chief has went as far as saying he would not have picked Sessions for the coveted position had he known the former Alabama senator would excuse himself from the federal inquiry. Trump even said he regretted the choice to appoint him in the first place.
Banner / Thumbnail : Reuters, Kevin Lamarque