There is only one question the American people want answered right now: Who wrote that op-ed in the New York Times? The explosive article, written by an anonymous insider in the White House, outlined how forces within the administration are working against President Donald Trump’s agenda.
Everybody wants to know who wrote the op-ed and media outlets are fuelling speculation by constructing theories about who the author could be. The article is unprecedented in presidential history but it is similar to Deep Throat, the anonymous source who tipped off journalists Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein about Watergate.
The language of the article is being carefully analysed, and some of the top suspects are Defense Secretary General James Mattis and Chief of Staff General John Kelly. Even Attorney General Jeff Sessions is in the frame. Trump has repeatedly attacked Sessions, publicly and privately, but it is hard to picture Sessions as part of the resistance.
Another theory suggests the author is Vice President Mike Pence. Reports on Pence have recently indicated that he might see the hand of God in Trump’s failings, and a path to the presidency. This particular theory rests on the idea that the word ‘lodestar’, which is used in the article, was previously used by Pence in a speech. This may be tenuous, but it could also be part of a particular idiom.
While it’s tempting to think the author is a very senior official, it could be someone lower down the scale. John DeStefano, assistant to the president, Bill Stepien, White House political director, Nick Ayers, the Vice President’s chief of staff have been suggested.
So, is it Jim Mattis, John Kelly or Mike Pence? Or is it someone else entirely? It may be impossible to find out in the short term.