Republican Sen. Rand Paul suggested that president Donald Trump use a lie-detector test to find out which White House official penned an anonymous New York Times’ op-ed piece.
Paul made the suggestion as 32 staffers deny they were the ‘senior official’ in the Trump administration who wrote a piece for the Times claiming there is resistance within the White House and officials were working ‘from within’ to thwart Trump’s most dangerous impulses.
‘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.’
Republican Sen. Rand Paul says Trump should use lie-detector tests to find the senior official who penned the New York Times op-ed
Sen. Elizabeth Warren on Thursday urged the anonymous writer to stop hiding and have Trump removed if they think he’s an unfit president
The New York Times op-ed drew a furious response from President Donald Trump on Thursday
32 White House senior officials have now denied their involvement in the Times op-ed
Paul also expressed concern on whether the leaker could reveal national security secrets to the media, but said he does not think Congress should get involved and investigate.
‘We need to get to the bottom of it,’ he said.
While Paul thinks lie-detector tests are the best route to finding the leaker, Sen. Elizabeth Warren on Thursday urged the anonymous writer to stop hiding and have Trump removed if they think he’s an unfit president.
In a fundraising email on Thursday, the Massachusetts Democrat wrote: ‘They should stop hiding behind anonymous op-eds and leaking information to Bob Woodward’ and ‘do what the Constitution demands they do: invoke the 25th Amendment and remove this president from office.’
A flood of denials have been pouring in after dozens and dozens of senior staffers publicly deny their involvement in the op-ed. According to
An official said that Trump is reading each statement carefully.
The denials have been fast and definitive given that the president measures the strength of such responses as part of his loyalty tests.
Earlier Thursday, First Lady Melania Trump joined the list of those denying they wrote the op-ed piece as the inflammatory essay becomes an all-hands on deck crisis for the Trump Administration.
‘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,’ the first lady said in a statement.
‘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 oped – you are not protecting this country, you are sabotaging it with your cowardly actions.’
She joined Vice President Mike Pence, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and a string of senior figures in flatly denying they wrote the ‘resistance’ op-ed whose publication drew a furious response from Trump.
Additionally every Cabinet secretary, along with other senior aides, have denied authorship as Trump has launched a massive mole hunt for the author behind the scandalous piece.
Melania Trump denies authorship of New York Times op-ed and condemns anonymous author
‘The Vice President puts his name on his op-eds,’ Pence’s office said in a tweet denying he was the writer
Reports indicate the president is becoming more and more paranoid about who he can trust in the wake of the bombshell essay and a book by Washington Post reporter Bob Woodward.
WHO’S DENIED AUTHORSHIP
First Lady Melania Trump
Vice President Mike Pence
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo
Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats
Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen
Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson
Education Secretary Betsy DeVos
Defense Secretary James Mattis
Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin
Attorney General Jeff Sessions
White House Counsel Don McGahn
Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross
Health and Human Services Services Secretary Alex Azar
Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke
Energy Secretary Rick Perry
Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao
Labor Department Secretary Alexander Acosta
Secretary of Veterans Affairs Robert Wilkie
Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue
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
Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai
Acting EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler
White House Counsel Kellyanne Conway
US Trade Representative Ambassador Robert Lighthizer
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 Sessions, 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, Energy Secretary Rick Perry, Acting EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler and First Lady spokesperson Stephanie Grisham are all denying authorship of The Times piece.
Also denying authorship are White House Counsels Don McGahn and Kellyanne Conway, 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.
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.
Pence’s denial was especially noteworthy after online speculation about who penned the piece narrowed in on the vice president, making him the odds on favorite as being the author.
Jarrod Agen, Pence’s deputy chief of staff and communications director, tweeted that 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,’ Agen wrote Thursday morning.
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.
Sonny Perdue (left) and Steven Mnuchin also said they were not involved
Trump claims a ‘deep state’ is working against him
‘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 added.
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.
US Trade Representative Ambassador Robert Lighthizer told
‘I did not write it. It does not reflect my views at all, and it does not reflect the views of anyone I know in the Administration. It is a complete and total fabrication,’ Lighthizer said.
‘.@stevenmnuchin1 is honored to serve @POTUS & the American people. He feels it was irresponsible for @nytimes to print this anonymous piece. Now, dignified public servants are forced to deny being the source. It is laughable to think this could come from the Secretary,’ tweeted Treasury Department spokesperson Tony Sayegh for Steven Mnuchin.
‘Secretary Nielsen is focused on leading the men and women of DHS and protecting the homeland – not writing anonymous and false opinion pieces for the New York Times. These types of political attacks are beneath the Secretary and the Department’s mission,’ press secretary Tyler Q. Houlton said.
A spokesperson for Carson simply stated ‘haha nope’ about whether the secretary of housing and urban development was the writer.
Trump is trying to learn the name of the author of the anonymous piece and has a printed list of everyone’s statement on the matter
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 either.
Energy Secretary Rick 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.
PLACE YOUR BETS ON WHO WROTE THE OP-ED
Online bookmakers rushed to cash in on the Washington D.C. frenzy over who the anonymous ‘senior official’ behind the New York Times’s ‘resistance’ op-ed could be.
The runners from
Mike Pence 60.0% (-150)
Betsy DeVos 33.3% (+200)
Mike Pompeo 20.0% (+400)
Steven Mnuchin 20.0% (+400)
John Kelly 20.0% (+400)
Jim Mattis 16.7% (+500)
Jeff Sessions 16.7% (+500)
Ryan Zinke 14.3% (+600)
Sonny Perdue 14.3% (+600)
Wilbur Ross 12.5% (+700)
Alex Acosta 12.5% (+700)
Alex Azar 11.1% (+800)
Ben Carson 11.1% (+800)
Robert Wilkie 11.1% (+800)
Kirstjen Nielsen 9.1% (+1000)
Ivanka Trump 7.7% (+1200)
Jared Kushner 7.7% (+1200)
Stephen Miller 6.3% (+1500)
DeVos’s press department tweeted the education secretary doesn’t ‘play Washington insider games.’
‘.@BetsyDeVosED is not a Washington insider and does not play Washington insider games. She has the courage of her convictions and signs her opinions. She is not the author of the anonymous @nytimes op-ed,’ they wrote.
Who wrote the piece has become Washington’s new guessing game and even the president is playing.
Inside the West Wing on Wednesday, senior officials canceled afternoon meetings to start the search process, the
Some staff were even calling reporters to ask if they knew who wrote the piece.
When it comes to negative stories involving the West Wing, the president looks at how forcefully aides respond them.
A Trump friend told the
The president reacted to The Times piece with ‘volcanic’ anger and was ‘absolutely livid,’ The Post reported.
Trump suspects the author works on national security issues or in the Justice Department.
One senior administration official told
And the president is publicly expressing frustration that his own administration is working against him, claiming again he is a victim of ‘the deep state.’
‘The Deep State and the Left, and their vehicle, the Fake News Media, are going Crazy – & they don’t know what to do,’ he wrote on Twitter Thursday morning.
Within hours of its publication, online chatter Wednesday quickly focused on Pence as observers focused on one line describing the late Sen. John McCain as ‘a lodestar for restoring honor to public life and our national dialogue.’
That word – lodestar – is a favorite of the vice president. But a senior White House official told DailyMail.com that suspicion is not focused on him or anyone in his office following a frank discussion among the VP’s senior staff.
The official suspects ‘lodestar’ was purposely included in the op-ed to throw journalists off the scent.
The term means ‘a star that leads or guides’ or ‘serves as an inspiration, model, or guide.’
Trump himself has called the writer ‘gutless’ and called on the newspaper to release the identity in the name of national security. In an online introduction, the Times says the author’s ‘identity is known to us’ and the person’s ‘job would be jeopardized by its disclosure. We believe publishing this essay anonymously is the only way to deliver an important perspective to our readers.’
‘Does the so-called ‘Senior Administration Official’ really exist, or is it just the Failing New York Times with another phony source?’ Trump tweeted hours after the newspaper published a brutal opinion essay that the newspaper said was written by one of his senior-level appointees.
‘If the GUTLESS anonymous person does indeed exist, the Times must, for National Security purposes, turn him/her over to government at once!’
Who wrote the New York Times’ Trump ‘resistance’ op-ed?
Pence speaks on a mobile phone before attending the Republican policy luncheon in DC on September 5
Mike Pence – DENIES IT
Sleuths honed in on the word ‘lodestar,’ a favorite of the vice president. The op-ed’s author described the late Sen. John McCain as ‘a lodestar for restoring honor to public life and our national dialogue.’
Others suggested the word, which means the guiding star of a ship, could have been deliberately included to throw journalists off the scent.
This was the verdict of a senior White House official who spoke to Dailymail.com. He said suspicion is not focused on him or anyone in his office following a frank discussion among the VP’s senior staff.
Pence has never criticized Trump in public. Writing the op-ed would almost certainly scuttle any future bid for high office. And his communications director has publicly denied it, saying Pence would always sign his own work.
If ‘lodestar’ was not an intentional red herring, others speculated, suspicion could fall on Pence’s speechwriter.
But the VP’s use of the word dates back to at least 2001. Ford, a youngish rising star in Washington’s conservative circles, was in the third grade that year.
Mattis gestures during a press briefing at the Pentagon on May 19, 2017
James Mattis – DENIES IT
The Secretary of Defense, despite being a Trump favorite, has repeatedly sounded at odds with the commander-in-chief while discussing NATO, Russia and military strategy.
During one episode in Bob Woodward’s recent book, ‘Fear,’ Trump questioned the ability of U.S. early warning systems in Alaska to identify a nuclear attack from North Korea.
Mattis is said to have schooled him. ‘We’re doing this in order to prevent World War III,’ he reportedly said.
The Pentagon chief reportedly told colleagues after the incident that Trump had the mental ability of ‘a fifth- or sixth-grader.’
Mattis has denied the account, saying in a statement: ‘The contemptuous words about the President attributed to me in Woodward’s book were never uttered by me or in my presence.’
A Pentagon spokesperson denied he wrote the Times piece. ‘It was not his op-ed,’ spokesperson Dana White said.
Kelly at the White House on August 20
The White House chief of staff was also quoted in Woodward’s book as having called Trump an ‘idiot.’
‘It’s pointless to try to convince him of anything. He’s gone off the rails,’ he allegedly said.
‘We’re in Crazytown. I don’t even know why any of us are here. This is the worst job I’ve ever had.’
Kelly denied making the claims, in a statement put out by the White House.
‘The idea that I ever called the President is not true, in fact it’s exactly the opposite,’ he said. ‘This is both a pathetic attempt to smear people close to President Trump and distract from his many successes.’
Sessions speaks about immigration and law enforcement at Lackawanna College on June 15, 2018
Jeff Sessions – DENIES IT
The attorney general has a motive to shiv his boss after Trump repeatedly chastized him in public for recusing himself from the Russia investigation.
And he has let loose on Sessions over charges the Department of Justice brought against two sitting Republican members of Congress, complaining the indictments handicapped the incumbents and jeopardized the GOP’s ability to retain its majority in the House.
The president also compared Sessions unfavorably to the FBI director he fired, ‘Lyin’ James Comey,’ saying they had become martyrs to the same lawmakers who despised them after resisting orders from the president.
Woodward writes that Sessions called Trump ‘mentally retarded,’ something that also met a stern denial.
A Justice Department spokesperson denies Sessions wrote the NYT op-ed.
Coats addresses the Aspen Security Forum in Colorado on July 19
Dan Coats – DENIES IT
The director of national intelligence has also veered from Trump loyal line.
Told of the president’s plan to invite Vladimir Putin to the White House, Coats enraged the president by snarking: ‘That is going to be special.’
He later ‘clarified’ his comments, made during an interview at the Aspen Institute security forum in Colorado, by saying his response ‘was in no way meant to be disrespectful or criticize the actions of the president.’
Trump drew heavy criticism from both Republicans and Democrats over his summit with Putin in Helsinki, Finland, where he seemed reluctant to blame Russia for meddling in the 2016 U.S. presidential election.
Coats put out a statement denying either he or his deputy wrote the piece.
McGahn is interviewed at a conference in Gaylord, Maryland, on February 22
The White House counsel is planning to leave the White House in the fall, so he may not fear the consequences of exposure as a secret anti-Trumper.
He has also clashed with the president in the past.
This includes declining an order to fire Robert Mueller, who is overseeing the Russia investigation that Trump describes as a ‘witch hunt.’
McGahn risked the president’s anger by spending 30 hours in interviews with Mueller’s team, over three separate occasions.
Melania and Ivanka watch on ahead of the first debate between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton in Hempstead, New York
Melania or Ivanka? – MELANIA DENIED
The first lady is an unlikely candidate for authorship of the Times essay.
Twitter commenters noted she had already been accused of telegraphing coded messages publicly hinting at opposition to her husband’s policies.
This included wearing a jacket saying ‘I really don’t care, do u?’ when visiting shelters for illegal immigrant children.
Melania Trump denied authorship Thursday, saying in a statement: ‘To the writer of the oped – you are not protecting this country, you are sabotaging it with your cowardly actions.’
Ivanka Trump has previously said she would work to ensure her voice is heard via her father’s policies but has seemingly failed to do so – particularly in the case of family separations at the U.S.-Mexico border, which she ‘vehemently’ opposed.
Her husband Jared is a senior adviser and also could be involved, but it’s a long shot that anyone in Trump’s family would sell him out.