The White House on Wednesday responded to an anonymous New York Times op-ed in which an unnamed administration official blasted President Donald Trump.
The statement came from White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders, however, the language used has Trump’s fingerprints all over it.
JUST IN: Press Sec. Sanders calls on senior admin. official who wrote anonymous NY Times op-ed to "do the right thing and resign." pic.twitter.com/ZmKTijwWUZ
— NBC News (@NBCNews) September 5, 2018
The statement begins by touting Trump’s electoral victory over Hillary Clinton in 2016, about which Trump loves to boast.
“Nearly 62 million people voted for President Donald J. Trump in 2016,” the statement said, “earning him 306 Electoral College votes – versus 232 for his opponent.” The White House called the unnamed author “gutless” and referred to the New York Times as “failing,” which is one of Trump’s favorite lines of attack against the publication.
The White House continued in Trumpian style:
We are disappointed, but not surprised, that the paper chose to publish this pathetic, reckless, and selfish op-ed. This is a new low for the so-called ‘paper of record.
The statement then called for an apology from the Times and accused the paper of being part of the “liberal media’s concerted effort to discredit the president,” and that the anonymous source is “putting himself and his ego ahead of the will of the American people.”
The statement said Trump’s accomplishments have been “astounding” and that “this coward” who penned the editorial “should do the right thing and resign.” Signed, Sarah Sanders. But it sure sounds like it was dictated by her boss.
Shortly after the op-ed hit the airwaves, Trump himself issued a statement to reporters in which he said the Times was “failing” and that major news outlets would not survive without him.
BREAKING: Trump responds after anonymous NYT Op-Ed.
"The New York Times is failing… The New York Times and CNN and all these phony media outlets will be out of business." pic.twitter.com/cXSXDzXl7e
— Meet the Press (@MeetThePress) September 5, 2018
“If I weren’t here, I believe the New York Times probably wouldn’t exist,” Trump said. “And someday – and someday when I’m not president, which hopefully will be in about six-and-a-half years from now, the New York Times and CNN and all of these phony news outlets will be out of business, folks.”
Trump also assailed the “anonymous editorial” as “gutless” before falsely claiming his poll numbers are “through the roof.”
Trump later tweeted, “TREASON?”
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 5, 2018
Speculation about the author’s identity is permeating Twitter.
This is a typical, poorly written, negative statement from @PressSec and @POTUS. They have to deflect/blame someone else so that they don't have to take responsibility for the fact that this administration is the worst in history. They have failed the US people and they know it.
— CommonSense (@slounsbury) September 5, 2018
March right down the hall and tell VP Pence how you feel about his article
— Herb Marselas (@HerbMarselas) September 5, 2018
Press Secretary David Dennison wrote this.
— Terry Jones (@tdjones53) September 5, 2018
Others called on Sanders to “do the right thing” and resign herself.