Denials as Trump train wreck continues

When quotes from ‘White House sources’ were published in advance of the public release of from Bob Woodward’s book on Donald Trump there were some denials from those claimed to have said to have provided quotes (Woodward claims to have recordings of all his sources).

Following the New York Times publishing of an anonymous op-ed by a ‘senior White House official’ – see The White House ‘resistance’ and what the hell is happening – there have been a number of inevitable public denials from senior White House officials.

New York Times: It Wasn’t Me: Pence, Pompeo, Mattis and Mnuchin Deny Writing Anonymous Op-Ed

A day after a senior administration official described President Trump as amoral, impetuous, petty and ineffective in an anonymous essay, the denials from the upper echelon of the administration started to roll in.

The mystery writer is not Vice President Mike Pence, a spokesman said Thursday. “Our office is above such amateur acts,” the vice president’s spokesman, Jarrod Agen, said

“It is not mine,” Mike Pompeo, the secretary of state, said.

“Patently false,” said Dan Coats, the national intelligence director, responding to rumors that he or his principal deputy wrote the piece. “We did not.”

Press officers for the secretaries of the Departments of Defense, Homeland Security, Treasury and Housing and Urban Development also issued denials on behalf of their bosses.

They will feel bound by principles of journalism to publish these denials, but a few at the NY Times knows who it is.

The author, whose identity is known to The Times editorial page but was not shared with the reporters who cover the White House, describes him or herself as one of many senior officials in the Trump administration who are “working diligently from within to frustrate parts of his agenda and his worst inclinations.”

Predictably Trump has tweeted on it.

Typical bluster and attempted diversion by attacking NYT, but he has attacked the media so many times because he hasn’t liked what they say about him it comes across as wailing wolf, again.

Bloomberg: Pence’s Office Says He Didn’t Write the Anonymous New York Times Op-Ed

Mike Pence’s office said the vice president wasn’t the author of an anonymous New York Times op-ed claiming key administration officials were secretly working against President Donald Trump, calling the article false and “gutless,” as Trump demanded the paper reveal the writer’s identity.

The denial by Pence came as other Republicans, notably Trump’s Secretary of State Michael Pompeo and Senator Marco Rubio, came to the president’s defence and said the writer should have resigned before making the accusations.

Fair call – if Trump is as bad as the editorial writer suggests (and Bob Woodward’s book suggests) then it should be untenable for them to work there.

However given the attack they would have faced from Trump and others it is perhaps justifiable to keep their identity out of it in the short term. It seems inevitable their identity will become known anyway, probably soon.

“America has one duly elected president. Anybody serving at his pleasure should do so faithfully,” Rubio said in a Twitter posting. “When they feel they no longer can, they should resign & speak in their own name so the country can evaluate their insights with a full understanding of where they are coming from.”

On Wednesday evening, before demanding that the Times unmask the writer, Trump tweeted one word: “TREASON?”

“The Deep State and the Left, and their vehicle, the Fake News Media, are going Crazy – & they don’t know what to do,” he said in tweet early Thursday. “The Economy is booming like never before, Jobs are at Historic Highs, soon TWO Supreme Court Justices & maybe Declassification to find Additional Corruption. Wow!”

That is playing to the conspiracy theory crowd, but it is unlikely to convince others that he is of sound mind.

And in other news yesterday: Kim Kardashian West visits White House to discuss clemency reform

Does she qualify as a senior White House official?

One thing is indisputable – something highly unusual is going on with Trump’s presidency. If Woodward’s book  and the op-ed are coincidental it suggests major problems, and if they were coordinated it also suggests major problems.


  1. Joe Bloggs

     /  7th September 2018

    The NYT op-ed is a nice piece of propaganda – in content, placement, and timing. But I’m not taking it at face value because it serves the GOP’s electoral efforts:

    1. It feeds trumps paranoid, deep state narrative that can by used by him and Fox, InfoWars, etc., to rally his base

    2. It offers false reassurances to de-motivate Dem voters

    3. It feeds into the PR effort to try and separate the administration officials and GOP as a whole from trump

    Judging from the current GOP narrative, the Republicans are trying to paint themselves as the voice of reason and sole line of defense against trump’s worst impulses.

    But it’s also a profile in cowardice.  The claims in the NYT op-Ed are extraordinarily self-serving.  To take one example, these co-idiots haven’t averted a constitutional crisis, they are manipulating one – trumps corruption and gross incompetence – and creating another.

    But to take the claims of these “steady staters” at face value, they’re doing a shitty job.  trump has wrecked the place and is still doing it.  Not being allowed to start WWIII is a pretty low bar to be labeled a hero. 

    If they were doing their jobs, they would expose trump sufficiently so that even a GOP Cabinet and Congress would have to do their duty and remove the idiot man-child from office.

    • Gezza

       /  7th September 2018

      US commentary on Aljaz tv this morning said that this is being orchestrated by conventional Republicans with an eye to the upcoming Congressional elections. They are trying to convince moderate Republican voters increasingly appalled by Trump’s chaotic presidency & what they see as his abuse of US values of civility & respect, conventions, & respected institutions that they needn’t be concerned because there are senior Republicans working to ensure his excesses & impulsiveness are being reduced & moderated by responsible Republicans.

      • Gerrit

         /  7th September 2018

        There is the problem right there.

        Americans don’t believe the values, presented by the established elite and swamp creatures such as

        civility and conventions
        or respected institutions

        actually do any good for anyone except those in the swamp.

        Trump thumbs his nose to the swamp creatures and is the first to question the value of the establishment role in ordinary peoples lives, gives the people more power (sort of like Rob’s Mob).

        Yep, Trump has started something, though like a bull in a China shop, in a blundering, belligerent and abrasive manner.

        • Gezza

           /  7th September 2018

          To be fair, on the plus side, Trumpy’s working really hard on overcoming his low self-esteem issues.

  2. David

     /  7th September 2018

    Well for a place of chaos there has been a hell of a lot of achievement so perhaps his non traditional style is just what was voted for. The coward should put his name on a ballot paper if they think they want a crack at running the place as they see fit..or quit.
    Record low black/Hispanic unemployment, more Americans in jobs than ever before, 4.2% growth in the last quarter, ISIS all but decimated, NOKO tentatively at the table, the EU bending on tariffs, Mexico trade deal done, proper funding for the military, VA reforms finally, right to try…and the list goes on.
    I was there in June and the place is absolutely booming.

    • Gezza

       /  7th September 2018

      Confirmation bias?

      • Joe Bloggs

         /  7th September 2018

        Confirmation of trump devotion syndrome

      • David

         /  7th September 2018

        Not really Gezza I have been to the US every year for the last decade and as an example I used to stay at the Beverly Wilshire and you could get a nice room for $400 a night with special offers and now its near $1100. Every half decent restaurant has a queue, not as many sales or bargains and crazy busy shops there are signs all over the place looking for staff.
        Definitely started under Obama but the premise that Trump is some dangerous loon who is about to blow everything up just defies the reality of 4.2% growth, a better funded NATO and the near end of ISIS.

        • artcroft

           /  7th September 2018

          “the premise that Trump is some dangerous loon who is about to blow everything up just defies the reality of 4.2% growth, a better funded NATO and the near end of ISIS.”

          Yet this argument has failed to convince senior white house officials who are on the record saying: “Trumps a loon”.

        • Griff.

           /  7th September 2018

          US trade deficit jumps by the most in 3 years

          The U.S. trade deficit increased to a five-month high in July.
          Exports of soybeans and civilian aircraft declined and imports hit a record high, suggesting that trade could be a drag on economic growth in the third quarter.
          The Commerce Department said the trade gap jumped 9.5 percent to $50.1 billion, widening for a second straight month.

          Winning the trade war Trump styles …. they are “easy” EH.

          • David

             /  7th September 2018

            Proof of a booming economy Griff, proof that Trump is right to put the focus on reducing trade barriers and renegotiating trade deals that undermined the wages and conditions of American workers.
            Pretty much your position on the TPP.

    • artcroft

       /  7th September 2018

      “The place is booming” Not hard to achieve with an utterly open cheque book and a multi-trillion dollar overdraft. You should see what I could do that sort of dosh. The difficulty arises when the debt collector calls.

      • artcroft

         /  7th September 2018

        Sooner or later everyone sits down to the feast of consequences.

      • Gerrit

         /  7th September 2018

        Like fairy dust in New Zealand? Billions for all except the tax payer. New levies galore for the tax payers. More government jobs at higher cost, that will suck even more money out the tax payers already heavily levied and depleted pockets. .

  3. Gerrit

     /  7th September 2018

    Whilst Trump may have called “wolf” a number of times, the media falls into the same category for scare mongering and false leads.

    How many times have they provided “insider” information that has proven to be manufactured?

    Slow burn to Woodward’s book publishing? No I don’t think there will be any names forthcoming. Simple reason that those “to be named persons” want to be in the swamp post Trump and being outed now would stymie that ambition.

    With impeachment option falling short, the MSM and the elite conservative establishment in the swamp still want Trump gone and get Spence in. However short of assassination Trump is not shifting (I think he is actually quite enjoying himself).

    Trump has failed to drain the establishment swamp, but I don’t think the American public are that enamored with the swamp creatures, hence Trump is still there.

    With both the Democrats and Republicans both deeply mired in the swamp, the choice of another independent minded president being elected is zero.

    Swamp creatures 1, USA democracy 0.

  4. Patzcuaro

     /  7th September 2018
  5. Griff.

     /  7th September 2018

    In breaking news trumps supporters will defend their hero no matter how totally mental he looks to the rest of us.

    • Alan Wilkinson

       /  7th September 2018

      Another day, another barrage of Lefty media insults. Must be election season.

      • Griff.

         /  7th September 2018

        Translation from tds to English
        Lefty. anyone who opposes Trump.
        Lie. any thing that goes against Trump
        Lying msm any news source that posts the truth about Trump.
        Lefty bias. anything based on reality.
        Trump win. something that Trump takes the glory for even if it has nothing to do with him.
        Trumponimics. borrowing against future generations to prop up the economy now.
        Free trade. any trade deal that benefits The USA over other economy’s.

  6. Patzcuaro

     /  7th September 2018

    “Today, The Onion is making an unusual editorial decision, and we want to explain why. As turmoil continues to increase within the Trump White House, this essay offers an invaluable high-level perspective into the administration’s inner workings. Due to the sensitive nature of this op-ed, revealing the identities of the writers could jeopardize their positions in the administration.”

  7. MaureenW

     /  7th September 2018

    These headlines are hilarious. All these “train-wreck” pieces do, is suck the oxygen out of all rivals to Trump, whether Republican or Democrat.
    This crap has been going on since Trump was elected, Trump’s crazy, Trump’s unhinged, he’ll start a nuke war, he’s Vladimir’s puppet and all going in to media spin-cycle’s depending upon what else they have to throw at him. Stormy Daniels, impeachment, Mueller etc. What a crazy-show.

  8. Patzcuaro

     /  7th September 2018
  1. Denials as Trump train wreck continues — Your NZ – NZ Conservative Coalition