President Donald Trump on Friday called on Attorney General Jeff Sessions and the Justice Department to launch an investigation into who penned a scathing anonymous op-ed in Wednesday’s New York Times.
“Yeah, I would say Jeff should be investigating who the author of this piece was because I really believe it’s national security,” Trump told reporters aboard Air Force One. “We’re going to take a look at what he had, what he gave, what he’s talking about, also where he is right now,” Trump said of the unnamed author.
The Times quickly shut down Trump’s request, calling it a “blatant abuse of government power.”
Response from The New York Times to President Trump's comments indicating Attorney General Jeff Sessions should investigate the source of an anonymous Op-Ed essay (story here: https://t.co/TXBYsy5LQj). pic.twitter.com/RTack7SuDw
— NYTimes Communications (@NYTimesPR) September 7, 2018
The Times said in a statement:
We’re confident that the Department of Justice understands that the First Amendment protects all American citizens and that it would not participate in such a blatant abuse of government power. The president’s threats both underscore why we must safeguard the identity of the writer of this Op-Ed and serve as a reminder of the importance of a free and independent press to American democracy.
The public is standing with the Times, which regularly draws Trump’s ire as an “enemy of the people” and “fake news.”
— Barbara&FrankVazquez (@babs18a) September 7, 2018
So glad you printed the anonymous letter. Many people out here that are very concerned about the leadership in the White House right now.
— Ellen Morgan (@EllenPM) September 7, 2018
I stand with the NYT and the 1st Amendment! Stay strong Journalists! 💪
— It’s In The Cards ♠️♦️♣️♥️ (@DASSouthWest) September 7, 2018
1976: "All the President's Men"
2017: "The Post"
2020: "The OpEd"
…I'd go and see it on the first day in theaters.
Thank you @nytimes for your courage!
— Teresa Pfützner (@TPfuetzner) September 7, 2018
— Dina Burns (@dinacburns) September 7, 2018
— Blockchain Ed (@ThirdEdNovak) September 7, 2018
absolutely. #Trump needs to cease the pervasive misuse of the office and abuse of the office
— ncgazette (@ncgazette) September 7, 2018
Thank you New York Times for publishing the op Ed. It is the first time that I’m feeling better about our government under this to range dictator Donald J Trump
— Episcopo (@Episcopo32204) September 7, 2018
Trump did not indicate what law he thinks the official violated in writing the op-ed.