Justice Dept. Should Investigate Op-Ed Writer as Matter of National Security

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He criticized the media for what he said were its efforts to "undermine this administration".

A single mention of the word "lodestar" in the op-ed prompted theories that the senior official in question was Vice President Mike Pence, who used the term in previous speeches. "Our office is above such amateur acts", Pence spokesman Jarrod Agen said on Twitter.

Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats, Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin, budget director Mick Mulvaney and others denied authorship of the article.

A "very small number of people within the Times who know this person's identity", Dao reportedly said, adding that the company had spoken with the senior official directly.

He said they are looking into action against the Times itself.

The writer of the piece says he or she wants Americans to know that "there are adults in the room".

"But these successes have come despite - not because of - the president's leadership style, which is impetuous, adversarial, petty and ineffective", the person wrote.

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Amid the reaction, a lot of ideas are being thrown out, including one from Sen.

Greg Gutfeld said the controversial New York Times op-ed allegedly written by an anonymous senior Trump administration official "doesn't hurt Trump a bit".

"I would say Jeff should be investigating who the author of that piece was because I really believe it's national security", Trump told reporters, according to a pool report.

In a tweet Wednesday evening, Trump wrote a single word: "TREASON?"

In his first major political speech since leaving the White House, former president Barack Obama denounced Trump's response to the article, as part of a wider rebuke of his successor's behaviour and agenda. He called it "gutless" and launched into an extended criticism of the newspaper.

In the column, the author presents a damning assessment of the Trump presidency and suggests there is a network of officials working behind the scenes to protect the nation from Trump. That measure defines methods to legally remove a president from office.

"But no one wanted to precipitate a constitutional crisis".

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"We're going to see".

White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders separately called on the individual to resign.

Sanders also urged the Times to issue an apology.

It comes the day after excerpts from a tell-all book by Watergate reporter Bob Woodward were published, quoting Trump's chief of staff John Kelly saying the White House was "Crazytown".

Smith asked Wallace about Trump demanding the Times identify the author. The book is set for release next Tuesday.

The draft letter is just one document reproduced in Woodward's latest work, "Fear: Trump in the White House", which available in bookstores September 11. There's a high bar for using anonymous sources in a news story, and deciding not to reveal a writer's identity is often considered a last resort.

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