The New York Times managed to take the media’s eye off Bob Woodward’s bombshell book about Donald Trump’s White House this afternoon – which is saying a lot – when it published an op-ed penned by an anonymous Trump staffer.
“I Am Part of the Resistance Inside the Trump Administration,” the op-ed is headlined.
The senior staffer writes that some in the White House and the administration are working to thwart POTUS’s “worst impulses.” This mirrors the leitmotif of Woodward’s book Fear: Trump in the White House that senior administration officials are trying to protect the United States from Donald Trump.
“The dilemma — which he does not fully grasp — is that many of the senior officials in his own administration are working diligently from within to frustrate parts of his agenda and his worst inclinations,” the anonymous staffer wrote.
“We want the administration to succeed and think that many of its policies have already made America safer and more prosperous,” the official continues. “But we believe our first duty is to this country, and the president continues to act in a manner that is detrimental to the health of our republic.”
“That is why many Trump appointees have vowed to do what we can to preserve our democratic institutions while thwarting Mr. Trump’s more misguided impulses until he is out of office,”
The root of the problem, the staffer said, “is the president’s amorality.”
“Anyone who works with him knows he is not moored to any discernible first principles that guide his decision making.”
President Trump’s impulses are generally anti-trade and anti-democratic, the author held, including “his mass-marketing of the notion that the press is the ‘enemy of the people’,” the staffer wrote.
“Don’t get me wrong. There are bright spots that the near-ceaseless negative coverage of the administration fails to capture,” the op-ed writer claims, citing “effective deregulation, historic tax reform, a more robust military and more.”
“But these successes have come despite — not because of — the president’s leadership style, which is impetuous, adversarial, petty and ineffective.”
Meetings with Trump “veer off topic and off the rails,” the author says, adding that Trump “engages in repetitive rants, and his impulsiveness results in half-baked, ill-informed and occasionally reckless decisions that have to be walked back.”
“There is literally no telling whether he might change his mind from one minute to the next,” the op-ed writer claimed, citing another anonymous “top official.”
With his preference for autocrats and dictators, and “little genuine appreciation for the ties that bind us to allied, like-minded nations,” the writer confirmed Trump was reluctant to expel so many of Putin’s spies as punishment for the poisoning of a former Russian spy in Great Britain, and frustrated the country continued to impose sanctions on Russia for its behavior.
But his national security team knew these actions had to be taken to hold Moscow accountable.
“This isn’t the work of the so-called deep state. It’s the work of the steady state,” the op-ed states.
The Trump staffer acknowledged the “instability many witnessed” in Trump and revealed “there were early whispers within the cabinet of invoking the 25th Amendment, which would start a complex process for removing the president.”
“But no one wanted to precipitate a constitutional crisis. So we will do what we can to steer the administration in the right direction until — one way or another — it’s over.”