Trump Demands NYT Turn Over Anonymous White House Critic

Trump said his former chief of staff Reince Priebus scurries around'like a rat

The opinion piece titled "I Am Part of the Resistance Inside the Trump Administration" offers the view from an alleged White House staffer who says is part of a group working to thwart part of president's agenda from within.

Furious over an article, allegedly penned by a senior official who claims to be a part of the White House resistance working against Trump, the U.S. leader has urged the New York Times to reveal its "phony" anonymous source. The criticisms of Trump that the longtime Washington Post journalist quotes in his book are based on interviews with sources he doesn't identify.

The unsettled chain of command, in addition to the special counsel's scrutiny of Trump's close associates and 2016 campaign, reportedly added to the negative atmosphere. Critics - and Trump himself - may call them cowardly, treasonous or opportunistic, but in this civic stress test for our nation, they may be redefining what it means to be part of the patriotic resistance.

The official says that Mr Trump has shown a preference for autocrats and dictators over allies, and opposed a strong reaction to the Salisbury poisoning. And you know the dishonest media ...

"They don't like Donald Trump and I don't like them", he said of the newspaper.

The official described a "two-track" presidency in which Mr Trump says one thing and his staff consciously does another, for example with regard to what he called Mr Trump's "preference for autocrats and dictators".

The column was released a day after the release of details from an explosive new book by longtime journalist Bob Woodward that raises concerns among the highest echelon of Trump aides about the President's judgment.

In a later tweet Trump also denied calling Attorney General Jeff Sessions quote "mentally retarded" and a "dumb southerner", calling the claims made up and created to be divisive. "'So, it sounds like you're on the fence about going to prom with me?'"

But what struck me about the reaction of the White House is that it seemed to lack some of the intensity with which they went after previous book writers like Michael Wolff, who wrote "Fire And Fury", or Omarosa Manigault Newman.

The US president tweeted: "Isn't it a shame that someone can write an article or book, totally make up stories and form a picture of a person that is literally the exact opposite of the fact, and get away with it without retribution or cost". "So I have another bad book coming out".

White House press secretary Sarah Sanders issued a formal response to reporters, calling on The New York Times to issue an apology for the "pathetic, reckless, and selfish" op-ed.

Mueller has asked the White House for access to Trump, and administration officials have negotiated for months over how that might happen.

Trump responded to the op-ed within an hour and a half of it being published during a White House event with local sheriffs - calling it "gutless" because it was published anonymously and saying it was "really a disgrace".

"He complained for weeks about senior staff members letting him get boxed into further confrontation with Russian Federation, and he expressed frustration that the United States continued to impose sanctions on the country for its malign behavior".

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