Trump wants Attorney General to investigate source of anonymous Times op-ed

White House Deputy Press Secretary Hogan Gidley left and White House Deputy Chief of Staff for Communications Bill Shine center listen as President Donald Trump talks to reporters while in flight from Billings Mont. to Fargo N.D. Friday Sept. 7

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The op-ed represents a "national security" issue, Trump claimed to reporters aboard Air Force One today, according to the Associated Press.

If the anonymous author has a high-level security clearance, the President emphasised, "and he goes into a high-level meeting concerning China or Russian Federation or North Korea or something, I don't want him in those meetings". Trump is arguing it is essential to USA national security to find out who the author is.

Next came a scathing, anonymous op-ed in the New York Times, which the paper claims has been written by a senior official in the Trump administration. Supposing I have a high-level national security, and he has got a clearance, we talked about clearances a lot recently, and he goes into a high-level meeting concerning China or Russian Federation or North Korea or something.

The op-ed writer, who described themselves as a member of the administration's "resistance" chastised Mr Trump and said many in the White House had strained to stop the president's most unsafe influences.

President Donald Trump speaks at a fundraiser in Fargo N.D. Friday Sept. 7 2018 as he makwa his second visit to North Dakota's biggest city within 10 weeks to campaign for Senate candidate Kevin Cramer this time to help Cramer build up his finances
Please Enjoy Trump Trying To Pronounce 'Anonymous' [Videos]

The president dismissed the article as "gutless" and potentially treasonous, and said his administration was a "well-oiled machine". "It doesn't seem to be anybody very high up because everybody very high up has already said it wasn't me".

Writing in The Guardian in April, Jack Goldsmith, a law professor at Harvard, said the "Deep State", such as it is, is "national security bureaucrats who use secretly collected information to shape or curb the actions of elected officials". Later, President Trump praised Judge Brett Kavanaugh's progress in winning confirmation to the Supreme Court on Thursday, decrying the "anger and the meanness on the other side - it's sick".

The Justice Department declined to comment on whether it planned to take action in response to the president's request.

The official said there were a number of United States officials who were part of an "quiet resistance" inside the administration who was "working diligently from within to frustrate parts of his agenda and his worst inclinations".

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The president on Friday publicly implored his attorney general to investigate the identity of the author, later accusing the "senior administration official" of treason.

"If I met with Russians, you people would have found out", he said.

Trump is also fuming that White House deputy chief of staff for communications Bill Shine has mishandled the messaging on the Woodward book.

Trump has openly criticised and ridiculed Sessions for recusing himself from the Russian Federation probe, but the attorney general has embraced Trump's views on most other law enforcement issues, including leaks from inside government.

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"In fact, one of the things that I even think, just looking at that piece, because it's so inconsistent with the White House that I know, is that I'm just not sure that it's a genuine piece", Hassett said on Friday morning, later adding: "I think the letter might be a fraud".

The party's "central organising principle in foreign policy was the fight against communism and now they're cozying up to the former head of the KGB", he said.

The New York Times said it would not reveal the identity of the official.

Not a syllable in the column suggests that the author and his confederates would be anything but delighted to implement Vice President Mike Pence's (or Brett Kavanaugh's) paleo-conservative, evangelical-pandering agenda from the White House.

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