From PillartoPost.org: These amazing articles were published and or broadcast Wednesday. It is unprecedented in American history that these events are occurring. Citizens can not depend on Congress or the Supreme Court to protect us from a dysfunctional White House. In every great crisis America has had heroes step forward. Today, no one except for the Fourth Estate has taken the challenge to protect America from amoral Executive actions dividing and destroying our country. Here are what two major news organizations published today:
1. Here is what the New York Times published yesterday.
Preface from the New York Times:
The [New York] Times today is taking the rare step of publishing an anonymous** Op-Ed essay. We have done so at the request of the author, a senior official in the Trump administration whose identity is known to us and whose job would be jeopardized by its disclosure. We believe publishing this essay anonymously is the only way to deliver an important perspective to our readers. We invite you to submit a question about the essay or our vetting process here.
** The writer is a senior official in the Trump administration.
I Am Part of the Resistance Inside the Trump Administration I work for the president but like-minded colleagues and I have vowed to thwart parts of his agenda and his worst inclinations.
President Trump is facing a test to his presidency unlike any faced by a modern American leader.
It’s not just that the special counsel looms large. Or that the country is bitterly divided over Mr. Trump’s leadership. Or even that his party might well lose the House to an opposition hellbent on his downfall.
The dilemma — which he does not fully grasp — is that many of the senior officials in his own administration are working diligently from within to frustrate parts of his agenda and his worst inclinations.
I would know. I am one of them.
To be clear, ours is not the popular “resistance” of the left. We want the administration to succeed and think that many of its policies have already made America safer and more prosperous.
But we believe our first duty is to this country, and the president continues to act in a manner that is detrimental to the health of our republic.
That is why many Trump appointees have vowed to do what we can to preserve our democratic institutions while thwarting Mr. Trump’s more misguided impulses until he is out of office.
The root of the problem is the president’s amorality. Anyone who works with him knows he is not moored to any discernible first principles that guide his decision making.
Although he was elected as a Republican, the president shows little affinity for ideals long espoused by conservatives: free minds, free markets and free people. At best, he has invoked these ideals in scripted settings. At worst, he has attacked them outright.
In addition to his mass-marketing of the notion that the press is the “enemy of the people,” President Trump’s impulses are generally anti-trade and anti-democratic.
Don’t get me wrong. There are bright spots that the near-ceaseless negative coverage of the administration fails to capture: effective deregulation, historic tax reform, a more robust military and more.
But these successes have come despite — not because of — the president’s leadership style, which is impetuous, adversarial, petty and ineffective.
From the White House to executive branch departments and agencies, senior officials will privately admit their daily disbelief at the commander in chief’s comments and actions. Most are working to insulate their operations from his whims.
Meetings with him veer off topic and off the rails, he engages in repetitive rants, and his impulsiveness results in half-baked, ill-informed and occasionally reckless decisions that have to be walked back.
“There is literally no telling whether he might change his mind from one minute to the next,” a top official complained to me recently, exasperated by an Oval Office meeting at which the president flip-flopped on a major policy decision he’d made only a week earlier.
The erratic behavior would be more concerning if it weren’t for unsung heroes in and around the White House. Some of his aides have been cast as villains by the media. But in private, they have gone to great lengths to keep bad decisions contained to the West Wing, though they are clearly not always successful.
It may be cold comfort in this chaotic era, but Americans should know that there are adults in the room. We fully recognize what is happening. And we are trying to do what’s right even when Donald Trump won’t.
The result is a two-track presidency.
Take foreign policy: In public and in private, President Trump shows a preference for autocrats and dictators, such as President Vladimir Putin of Russia and North Korea’s leader, Kim Jong-un, and displays little genuine appreciation for the ties that bind us to allied, like-minded nations.
Astute observers have noted, though, that the rest of the administration is operating on another track, one where countries like Russia are called out for meddling and punished accordingly, and where allies around the world are engaged as peers rather than ridiculed as rivals.
On Russia, for instance, the president was reluctant to expel so many of Mr. Putin’s spies as punishment for the poisoning of a former Russian spy in Britain. He complained for weeks about senior staff members letting him get boxed into further confrontation with Russia, and he expressed frustration that the United States continued to impose sanctions on the country for its malign behavior. But his national security team knew better — such actions had to be taken, to hold Moscow accountable.
This isn’t the work of the so-called deep state. It’s the work of the steady state.
Given the instability many witnessed, there were early whispers within the cabinet of invoking the 25th Amendment, which would start a complex process for removing the president. But no one wanted to precipitate a constitutional crisis. So we will do what we can to steer the administration in the right direction until — one way or another — it’s over.
The bigger concern is not what Mr. Trump has done to the presidency but rather what we as a nation have allowed him to do to us. We have sunk low with him and allowed our discourse to be stripped of civility.
Senator John McCain put it best in his farewell letter. All Americans should heed his words and break free of the tribalism trap, with the high aim of uniting through our shared values and love of this great nation.
We may no longer have Senator McCain. But we will always have his example — a lodestar for restoring honor to public life and our national dialogue. Mr. Trump may fear such honorable men, but we should revere them.
There is a quiet resistance within the administration of people choosing to put country first. But the real difference will be made by everyday citizens rising above politics, reaching across the aisle and resolving to shed the labels in favor of a single one: Americans.
**The writer is a senior official in the Trump administration.
Follow The New York Times Opinion section on Facebook and Twitter (@NYTopinion).
2. Here is what CNN broadcast yesterday.
The story behind the New York Times' anonymous op-ed blasting Trump
By Brian Stelter @brianstelter
Several days ago a senior official in the Trump administration used an intermediary to contact New York Times op-ed page editor Jim Dao.
Through the go-between, the senior official expressed interest in writing an explosive piece for the paper, describing a "resistance" to President Trump within the government that works overtime to protect the United States from the president's worst impulses.
The result, published on the New York Times' website on Wednesday, prompted speculation all across Washington about who the official is.
Dao, of course, isn't saying. In a telephone interview, he was careful not to share any identifying details, even the person's gender.
"The person contacted me through an intermediary," he said.
Dao said it happened "several days ago," declining to be more specific.
Many officials within the administration can be considered "senior," even if they do not work in the West Wing or interact directly with Trump.
Dao declined to characterize just how "senior" the whistleblower is. He said the Times did speak to the author directly, but wouldn't say how so.
"We were simply trying to abide by the standard that the Times in general would use when referring to someone who's not named," he said.
Dao reports to editorial page editor James Bennet, who in turn reports to the Times publisher A.G. Sulzberger. The opinion section is separate from the newsroom.
Dao said there are only a "very small number of people within the Times who know this person's identity," but he declined to name them.
He said "we have taken a number of special precautions to protect the person's identity."
James Jim Dao headshot
James Dao in a photo taken in 2009.
Face to face meetings? Encrypted messaging? The speculation will continue, but Dao would not go into any detail.
He said there was no special effort to disguise the person's writing style, for example by rewriting the piece in some fashion.
"There's editing in everything we do," he said, but it's based on making the person's views "clearer" and adhering to style standards.
Despite the extraordinary nature of the op-ed, Dao said, his initial response to the intermediary was the same as it would be for anyone else.
The op-ed came on the same week that the excerpts from Bob Woodward's book "Fear" have revived conversations about Trump's behavior and fitness for office.
Dao said that as far as he knows, "this is a coincidence," meaning the senior official's outreach was not related to the Woodward book.
Major newspapers almost never publish unnamed op-ed pieces. At The Times, it is very rare, but not quite unprecedented.
Dao said he had published a few other anonymous pieces during his tenure as op-ed editor, which began in early 2016. The most recent example was a piece in June by an unnamed asylum seeker from El Salvador.
In the case of the senior Trump administration official, The Times said it granted anonymity "at the request of the author" because the person's job "would be jeopardized by its disclosure."
Dao declined to say whether he pressed the person to speak on the record.
He said, "we felt it was a very strong piece written by someone who had something important to say and who's speaking from a place of their own sense of personal ethics and conscience. That was our main focus."
He said he couldn't talk about the fact-checking process in detail, but "we do make an effort to check the facts for all the pieces."
Dao did not rule out publishing another op-ed from the senior official in the future.
WHO DID IT?
CNN points 13 fingers! Click here.
MSNBC SAYS DAN COATS PENNED THE ANONYMOUS PIECE IN NEW YORK TIMES
WHO DID IT?
CNN points 13 fingers! Click here.
MSNBC SAYS DAN COATS PENNED THE ANONYMOUS PIECE IN NEW YORK TIMES
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