Trump aide's anonymous New York Times op-ed 'is a trap', conservatives claim

'It’s an administrative coup, a soft coup, a kooky coup, whatever you want to think'

Jon Sharman
Thursday 06 September 2018 12:31 BST
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Donald Trump supporters have denounced an anonymous article which claimed that there is an internal “resistance” movement among some of the US president's senior aides.

Attributed to a senior administration official, The New York Times op-ed claimed cabinet members had discussed using the 25th amendment – a constitutional provision that allows the vice-president and a majority of the Cabinet secretaries to vote to remove a president who is "unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office" – to oust Mr Trump

“Many of the senior officials in his own administration are working diligently from within to frustrate parts of his agenda and his worst inclinations,” the author wrote, adding that the president's "amorality" and "impulsiveness" had led to ill-informed and reckless decisions.

It was published less than 24 hours after a string of explosive claims was published in a new book by veteran Watergate reporter Bob Woodward, which suggested that White House staff had stolen papers from Mr Trump’s desk to keep him from signing them.

Some of Mr Trump's supporters have however suggested that the Times op-ed is part of a “trap” and a “soft coup” against the Republican leader.

Taking to Twitter, the president himself asked whether the allegations were “TREASON?”

He added: “I’m draining the Swamp, and the Swamp is trying to fight back. Don’t worry, we will win!”

White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders called them “pathetic, reckless and selfish” and suggested the author should resign.

Michael Caputo, a former Trump campaign adviser, told CNN the article represented “a coup”. He said: ”It’s an administrative coup, a soft coup, a kooky coup, whatever you want to think.”

David Clarke, the former Milwaukee County, Wisconsin sheriff who has long backed the president, tweeted: “Don’t take the cheese. It’s a trap to get everybody in the @realDonaldTrump admin to begin to look suspisciouly at EACH OTHER & ultimately destroy the team.”

Mr Clarke was recently caught out by Sacha Baron Cohen on his programme Who is America?, when the ex-lawman was bamboozled into saying “you don’t want to take sides” when asked about fascists and anti-fascists in Germany during the 1930s.

Mike Huckabee, the former Arkansas governor and Republican presidential hopeful, called the anonymous Times author a “cowardly weasel” who should “get on [the] ballot and run” if they wanted to make a change.

Alex Jones, the far-right Infowars conspiracist also took to Twitter to claim a “coup d’etat” was taking place.

Following the publication of the Times story Mr Trump called for its author to be “handed over” to the government on national security grounds.

But the newspaper defended the piece as having added “significant value to the public’s understanding of what is going on in the Trump administration from someone who is in a position to know”, adding that the source was known to but a few members of staff.

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