'That's Not Journalism, That's Clickbait': Gutfeld Slams Anonymous NYT Op-Ed

Trump fires back at Bob Woodward book with statements from James Mattis and John Kelly

On Wednesday night, Trump tweeted a demand that if "the GUTLESS anonymous person does indeed exist, the Times must, for National Security purposes, turn him/her over to government at once!"

Dr Bandy Lee, who edited the bestselling book The Dangerous Case of Donald Trump: 27 Psychiatrists and Mental Health Experts Assess a President, told the New York Daily News on Thursday the staffers contacted her because the president was "scaring" them.

Both Ms Sanders and Mr Trump lashed out against the New York Times for publishing the essay, with the president adding that "all these phony media outlets will be out of business" once he leaves the presidency, as they will have nothing left to write about. The excerpts described senior aides as sometimes disregarding his instructions to limit what they saw as damaging behavior.

"But I think that given the extraordinary circumstances, the New York Times was ethically justified in publishing the piece - assuming, of course, that they know for certain who the author is and that he is a senior administration official, and that they have vetted the facts as well as they can".

Senior aides, some of whom have also been denying episodes from Woodward's book this week, lined up to disavow authorship of the piece, known as an op-ed for its place in the opinion section.

"We are disappointed, but not surprised, that the paper chose to publish this pathetic, reckless, and selfish op-ed", Sanders said.

The Times op-ed, anonymously authored and published on Wednesday, sparked a firestorm in Washington and a tweet storm from the president, who simultaneously accused the author of "treason" while questioning whether he even exists.

The article had referred to the anonymous author as only a senior administration official.

"The speculation about who replaces Mattis is now more real than ever", a senior White House official was quoted as saying in the report.

Trump had arrived in the state to campaign on behalf of Republican candidates amid an intensifying battle for control of Congress ahead of the November midterm elections. The November vote will be widely seen as a referendum on Trump.

Staff actively worked to insulate themselves from Trump's "impetuous, adversarial, petty and ineffective" leadership style, the writer said.

The opinion piece claimed that several top officials within the administration are trying to "frustrate" parts of the president's agenda and "worst inclinations", adding: "I would know". "Clearly it would not be my decision alone, and I can not say definitively that we would have gone with it or we would not have gone with it".

Social media has been flooded with theories and counter-theories as to the author's identity, with speculation ranging from Vice-President Mike Pence, Attorney General Jeff Sessions and White House counsellor Kellyanne Conway, to Trump's own daughter, Ivanka, or his wife, Melania.

One of the leading theories online is that Vice-President Mike Pence penned the piece, based on the use of the word "lodestar", which Kimmel found suspicious.

"You are not protecting this country, you are sabotaging it with your cowardly actions", she wrote.

UN Ambassador Nikki Haley told reporters she was not the author.

"Come on!" said the host.

Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue said through a spokesman that he was not the author, either.

The mystery writer has sparked wild speculation, similar to the frenzy to learn the identity of Woodward and Carl Bernstein's mysterious Watergate source, Deep Throat, who was later to be revealed to be Federal Bureau of Investigation associate director Mark Felt.

"There's nothing in the piece that strikes me as being relevant to or undermining the national security", Dao said.

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