Washington Post associate editor Bob Woodward said this morning that staffers are able to whisk papers off the president's desk - out of fear that some signed documents would create a national security crisis - because Donald Trump doesn't remember they were there in the first place.
The mystery writer has sparked wild speculation, similar to the frenzy to learn the identity of Woodward and Carl Bernstein's mysterious Watergate source, Deep Throat, who was later to be revealed to be Federal Bureau of Investigation associate director Mark Felt.
"There could be a national security risk at hand", she warned.
White House officials did not immediately respond to a request to elaborate on Trump's call for the writer to be turned over to the government or the unsupported national security ground of his demand. And some of the most senior members of the Trump administration were forced to deny they were the author of the attack on their boss. This means there are few conservative people available for Trump to call on to serve on his staff, so he had to take a second choice for some position, and this less-than-conservative choice decided that his/her leftist ideas should prevail over the ideas of a duly elected Trump, and this person deceived and lied to his/her employer, the president of the United States.
Trump, in an earlier interview with "Fox & Friends", said the Times should not have even had the piece.
Still, Ponnuru cautioned against reading too much into the op-ed for clues about how it might impact Trump's long-term political agenda.
The reduced display compared to past years earned a thank you note from Trump, who hailed it as a "big and very positive statement from North Korea".
Woodward added that in the eight White House's he's covered, he has never heard of such actions.
"I'd do it under certain circumstances", Trump told reporters on board Air Force One. "That throws the scent off me".
Others have wondered whether it was an attempt to distance the Republican administration from their president ahead of the important mid-term elections.
Thematic overlap notwithstanding, Woodward isn't drawing comfort and corroboration from the New York Times op-ed.
Mattis is in India along with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to attend the maiden India-US 2+2 dialogue being hosted by their Indian counterparts External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman.
Despite his denial, however, sleuths seem to be pointing to Coats as one of the leading contenders.
At the end of the dinner Trump told Mattis the U.S. would support North Atlantic Treaty Organisation but allies must pay. John McCain, the op-ed writer wrote, "We may no longer have Senator McCain".
"Speculation that The New York Times op-ed was written by me or my Principal Deputy is patently false", he said.
"We want the administration to succeed and think that many of its policies have already made America safer and more prosperous", the writer said. "100s would qualify under this rubric", Kessler tweeted.
CNN is not aware of the identity of the individuals White House aides have zeroed in on.
The first lady's reaction mirrors that of her husband, who on Wednesday called the author "gutless".
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