Psychiatrist: Trump admin officials contacted me because president was ‘scaring’ them

Andrew Harrer-Pool  Getty Images FILE

The New York Times published an op-ed from an anonymous Trump official who said staff members are working to block bad decisions by the president, on issues ranging from free trade to military policy.

As the op-ed appeared in the New York Times print edition Thursday morning, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo spoke out from his trip overseas in India, and then the Vice President's communications director tweeted a denial.

Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats said in a statement: "Speculation that The New York Times op-ed was written by me or my principal deputy is patently false".

Yet senior GOP lawmakers rejected the idea that the op-ed would damage Trump, insisting instead that it would help him during the midterms and in the 2020 presidential election.

Trump derided the article as "anonymous, meaning gutless" and lashed out at the New York Times for publishing it, insisting "they don't like Donald Trump and I don't like them because they're very dishonest people". "In South Carolina, when the New York Times speaks, most people don't listen".

Ryan said he isn't anxious about President Donald Trump's public threats or inclinations toward shutting down the government in an effort to secure funding for his border wall.

"We have a president who's there, but he is not capable of doing the job or living up to the responsibilities".

The White House has condemned Woodward's book as "nothing more than fabricated stories", and Trump called it "a work of fiction".

As Newsweek suggested, the senior official references "we" in the context of "Trump appointees", suggesting the author could be a cabinet member.

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"You should not be lapping up the benefits of being a senior administration official, no doubt while scouting for lucrative opportunities for when you leave your post", she said.

The nearly 1,000-word opinion piece released Wednesday afternoon described "many senior officials' at high levels of the administration working to "frustrate parts of [President Trump's] agenda and his worst inclinations". Her message included the Times' phone number.

"Not wishing to confuse the role I chose, as an educator of the public, and a potential treatment role, I referred them to the local emergency room without inquiring much further", Lee added to Salon.

James Dao, the newspaper's op-ed editor, told the Times' podcast The Daily that the author contacted the paper through an intermediary.

At the same time, I can't say whether we would have done it or not, so I don't want to sound churlish.

The opinion piece, and Mr Woodward's book, which is published next week, follow many news articles during Mr Trump's 19-month presidency that have depicted turbulence at the White House under his leadership.

Some of the guessing game over the authorship centred on whether the author worked in the White House or a federal agency. That speaks to the writer either being in the White House or having access to people who are there regularly.

Dana Perino, the former White House press secretary under George W. Bush, called the mysterious author of the op-ed "extremely self-indulgent".

The White House press secretary, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, called on the "coward" who wrote the piece to "do the right thing and resign". "Dont worry, we will win!" he said earlier on Twitter.

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