Obama On New York Times Op-Ed: 'This Is Not Normal'

Trump White House

He also said it is still unclear what the consequences would be for the official.

Trump advisor Kellyanne Conway told CNN in an interview that Trump believes it's "somebody in national security" and said she doesn't think it is a White House official. Donald Trump said it was necessary to identify the "anonymous" United States official for national security reasons, reported Washington Post.

He added that they are not "doing us a service by actively promoting 90 per cent of the insane stuff that's coming out of this White House, and then saying, 'Don't worry, we're preventing the other 10 per cent'".

For Mr Trump, this week's events were the latest skirmish in the long-running fight he has picked with the media and against leaks from the White House.

Trump's lawyers and supporters have argued that as president he is empowered not only to hire and fire whomever he chooses but that he can also inject himself into law enforcement matters.

Mr Trump said it was an issue of "national security".

The essay, which said some of Trump's closest advisers work in secret to thwart his "more misguided impulses until he is out of office", has enraged the president.

A day earlier, Trump's top lieutenants stepped forward to repudiate the op-ed in a show of loyalty to their incensed boss, who has ordered aides to unmask the writer.

"Anyone who would write an anonymous editorial smearing this President, who's provided extraordinary leadership for this country, should not be working for this administration", Vice President Mike Pence told reporters. "My anonymous colleague should have, too".


Some people who agreed with the writer's points suggested the president's reaction actually confirmed the author's concerns.

In his own piece, McCarthy describes the anonymous op-ed as "shocking", albeit unsurprising as a "permanent political class" desperately attempts to regain its waning power in the Trump era.

"Our libel laws should be toughened up so that if somebody writes things that are fraudulent and false, they get sued and they lose", said Trump.

Trump claims that his call for an investigation is not spurred by the op-ed's negative portrayal of him.

"Let's assume it's a person with a security clearance". Because the op-ed largely focuses on national security, administration fingers have been pointing at suspects in the State Department or National Security Council.

Obama said "this is not normal", adding the U.S.is living in risky times.

Kentucky Senator Rand Paul has urged Mr Trump to conduct lie detector tests to find out who wrote the piece.

Hassett seemed to be echoing Trump's suggestion that the essay was fraudulent. He added: "Eventually the name of this sick person will come out".

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