President Donald Trump is reportedly scrambling in an effort to minimize the damage of renowned journalist Bob Woodward's new book Fear: Trump in the White House. Despite repeated attempts from Trump and White House officials to discredit the piece, it's built on hundreds of hours of interviews with White House officials—and they're on tape.
Though White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders's attempts to paint Woodward's sources as disgruntled employees, Woodward insists that many are still working in the White House. And though he may not admit it, the president seems to know that too.
Trump, according to CNN, is on a mission to suss out officials who may have spoken to Woodward.
After Sanders, Secretary of Defense James Mattis, and Chief of Staff General John Kelly released fervent denials of the quotes attributed to them and of the book's contents, Trump is listening for whose silences are the loudest.
In his efforts to do so, it would appear he's endowing Fear with even more validity.
It's beginning to have some outsiders concerned with the ability of the Trump administration to do its job.
The idea that there are people the president can't trust and staff members who likewise cannot trust the president is deeply disconcerting.
For some, it's casting doubt on the credibility of the White House and whether or not an administration ceaselessly extinguishing fires of its own creation can feasibly focus on the health and safety of the republic. Among these is CNN national security analyst, Sam Vinograd.
Along with swathes of others.
An explosive New York Times op-ed by an anonymous senior Trump official published just this afternoon is only exacerbating the matter. Rather than going through Woodward, this official went straight to the media with his or her own words.
The op-ed, whose author is known only to New York Times editors, said the so-called achievements by the Trump White House had been made "despite — not because of — the president’s leadership style, which is impetuous, adversarial, petty and ineffective." The writer even reports that officials discussed invoking the 25th amendment and temporarily or permanently remove Trump on the grounds that he is unfit.
Less than an hour after the op-ed's publication, "25th Amendment" was trending on Twitter.