Thursday was the day when we saw Melania Trump joining the list; of those cabinet members, who have denied that they had any relation with the anonymous New York Times’ op-ed piece. As the inflammatory essay becomes an all-hands on deck crisis for the administration or President Trump.
The first lady said that ‘Freedom of speech is an important pillar of our nation’s founding principles and a free press is important to our democracy. The press should be fair, unbiased and responsible,’
‘Unidentified sources have become the majority of the voices people hear about in today’s news. People with no names are writing our nation’s history. Words are important, and accusations can lead to severe consequences. If a person is bold enough to accuse people of negative actions. They have a responsibility to publicly stand by their words and people have the right to be able to defend themselves,’ she added.
She concluded: ‘To the writer of the op-ed piece – you are not protecting this country, you are sabotaging it with your cowardly actions.’
After the publication, there was a furious response from President Donald Trump.
To which Vice President Mike Pence, State Secretary Mike Pompeo, the First lady Melania Trump. A string of other senior figures of the cabinet clearly denied they wrote the ‘resistance’ op-ed piece.
A massive mole hunt for the author behind this scandalous piece is launched by President Trump. Due to which every Cabinet secretary and other senior aides, have denied authorship of this piece. There are reports that indicate President Trump is becoming more paranoid and uneasy with the fact that who he can trust. All this in the wake of bombshell essay and a book by Washington post reporter Bob Woodward.
Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen, Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson, Defense Secretary James Mattis, Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin, Attorney General Jeff Session.
Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke, Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao, Health and Human Services Services Secretary Alex Azar, Labor Department Secretary Alexander Acosta, Secretary of Veterans Affairs Robert Wilkie, Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue, Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, and Energy Secretary Rick Perry are all denying authorship of The Times piece.
Also denying authorship are White House Counsel Don McGahn, UN Ambassador Nikki Haley, U.S. Ambassador to Russia Jon Huntsman, CIA Director Gina Haspel, Federal Trade Commission Chairman Joe Simons, Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney, and Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai.
Republican Sen. Rand Paul said Thursday that Trump should use lie-detector tests to root out the author.
‘It’s not unprecedented for people with security clearances to be asked whether or not they’re revealing things against the law under oath and also by lie detector,’ Paul said.
‘We use the lie-detector test routinely for CIA agents and FBI agents,’ he added. ‘If you have a security clearance in the White House, I think it would be acceptable to use a lie detector test and ask people whether or not they’re taking to the media against the policy of the White House.’
And White House press secretary Sarah Sanders is slamming the who-wrote-it game going on in Washington D.C., advising the media to ‘Stop.’
‘The media’s wild obsession with the identity of the anonymous coward is recklessly tarnishing the reputation of thousands of great Americans who proudly serve our country and work for President Trump. Stop. If you want to know who this gutless loser is, call the opinion desk of the failing NYT at 212-556-1234, and ask them. They are the only ones complicit in this deceitful act. We stand united together and fully support our President Donald J. Trump,’ she said in a statement posted to her twitter account.
But the flood of denials are just as much for Trump as they are for the public, CNN reports.
Pence’s deputy chief of staff and communications director Jarrod Agen, tweeted that the vice president ‘puts his name on his op-eds.’
‘The Vice President puts his name on his Op-Eds. The @nytimes should be ashamed and so should the person who wrote the false, illogical, and gutless op-ed. Our office is above such amateur acts,’ he wrote Thursday morning.
And Pompeo told reporters during a visit to India that it wasn’t him either.
‘It’s not mine,’ he said, according to the Associated Press. I come from a place where if you’re not in a position to execute the commander’s intent, you have a singular option, that is to leave,’ Pompeo said.
And Coats put out a statement denying either he or his deputy wrote the piece.
‘Speculation that The New York Times op-ed was written by me or my Principal Deputy is patently false. We did not. From the beginning of our tenure, we have insisted that the entire IC remain focused on our mission to provide the President and policymakers with the best intelligence possible,’ he said.
‘Haha nope,’ said a spokesperson for Carson.
A Pentagon spokesperson denied it was Mattis. ‘It was not his op-ed,’ spokesperson Dana White said.
A Justice Department spokesperson told CNN Sessions was not the author.
Perry tweeted he didn’t write the piece.
‘I am not the author of the New York Times OpEd, nor do I agree with its characterizations. Hiding behind anonymity and smearing the President of the United States does not make you an ‘unsung hero’, it makes you a coward, unworthy of serving this Nation,’ he wrote.
And the Labor Department said the secretary ‘does not play these sophomoric Washington games.’
‘The Secretary does not play these sophomoric Washington games. He is definitely not the author,’ a Department of Labor spokesperson told CNN.
Inside the West Wing on Wednesday, senior officials cancelled afternoon meetings to start the search process, the Wall Street Journal reported.
And a new report in Axios revealed Trump had fretted about leaks long before the latest revelations from Woodward and The Times’ piece.
The president carried the hand-written list of leakers for some time last year.
‘He would basically be like, ‘We’ve gotta get rid of them. The snakes are everywhere. But we’re getting rid of them,” a source close to Trump told the publication.
Another source said Trump would examine the back seats of the Roosevelt Room during a meeting and look at the aides gathered there.
‘One day, after one of those meetings, he said, ‘Everything that just happened is going to leak. I don’t know any of those people in the room.’ … He was very paranoid about this,’ according to the account.