Trump Says DOJ Should Investigate Identity of NYT Op-Ed Author

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Mr Trump has been furious over the anonymous comment piece apparently written by a member of his administration, which appeared in the "New York Times" on Wednesday, depicting a "resistance" force within the White House.

Asked for his opinion on the identity of the senior administration official who the Times says wrote the piece, Trump says, "I could think of four or five, mostly people that either I don't like or don't respect".

Trump has already demanded that the newspaper release the identity of the author, and wondered if the publication amounts to treason.

Jennifer Palmieri, former communications director for President Barack Obama, noted that "this person could easily be someone most of us have never heard of" - for example, a deputy of a department most voters don't know. ' We have a really well-run, smooth-running White House.

Experts said it was unlikely the Justice Department would have sound legal grounds to get involved over a hunt for the op-ed author, unless the person was a member of the military, who are forbidden to undermine or defame the commander-in-chief.

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"The President just, just today said he believes it's somebody in national security", Conway told Christiane Amanpour for her show which premiers on CNN International and PBS on Monday.

A June 1974 Associated Press report quoted Nixon as saying, "I don't know much about these things, but it scares the (expletive deleted) out of them".

"I could think of four or five, mostly people that either I don't like or don't respect", he said.

U.S. Vice President Mike Pence denied involvement in discussions to invoke the 25th Amendment to oust President Donald Trump, according to his interview with CBS News to be aired in full Sunday.

To set an investigation into motion, the White House counsel's office would normally contact the Justice Department. Trump was then asked whether action should be taken against the Times.

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In a note attached to the top of the op-ed, the Times explained its decision for keeping the author anonymous.

Whie the author acknowledged the "bright spots" in the administration's agenda, including deregulation and "historic tax reform", the piece said that those victories came despite Trump's leadership style - described as "impetuous, adversarial, petty and ineffective".

"No, Dir. Mulvaney is not the author", a spokesperson for Mulvaney told NBC News.

Trump repeated denials that his campaign conspired with the Russian attack or that he might have broken the law by trying to frustrate the subsequent investigation.

"It speaks to some kind of sad desperation on the part of "never- Trumpers" - even those inside the administration - that stems from the collapse of the Russian Federation collusion narrative", said City Councilman Joe Borelli (R-Staten Island), Trump's NY campaign chairman in 2016.

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"Our libel laws should be toughened up so you can't do that", he said.

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