There are a lot of people fighting against Donald Trump’s agenda — and some of them are in the White House. In fact, a senior official in the Trump administration released a statement today describing how this person and others in the White House work to control the effects of Trump’s efforts, and the reasons why. The official — known by name to the New York Times, but anonymous to the world at large — says that Trump’s instability, erratic behavior, and immorality is dangerous to America. The individual says that, rather than allow Trump to be removed under the 25th Amendment, those around him instead work to counter him and direct policy behind his back.
The op-ed piece printed in full in the New York Times, outlines a number of concerns.
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.
The senior official goes on to list a number of qualities in Trump that are not beneficial to a presidency: an ” impetuous, adversarial, petty and ineffective” style of leadership; “impulsiveness result[ing] in half-baked, ill-informed and occasionally reckless decisions,” and ” impulses [that] are generally anti-trade and anti-democratic.”
However, this official’s purpose in putting pen to paper is an attempt to give hope to Americans who are watching the Trump presidency with despair:
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.
How many people in Trump’s administration are working against him? The official doesn’t make that clear, but mentions “many of the senior officials in his own administration,” as well as aides who are “cast as villains by the media” but secretly work to thwart what the writer describes as “bad decisions.”
A book, by Bob Woodward, coming out about Trump, includes information given in interviews by many people close to Trump. However, Trump has tweeted statements from several (John Kelly, James Mattis, and Sarah Sanders) denying some information in the book — such Chief of Staff John Kelly calling Trump an idiot.
However, the anonymous official’s public declaration seems to support some details, such as administration officials stealing Trump’s papers off his desk to prevent him from signing legislation they considered dangerous to the nation, as CNN describes from an advance excerpt of the book.
The editorial also describes Trump administration members sharing their complaints.
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.
This too, fits with what ABC reports that an early exceprt of Bob Woodward’s book said some of these officials told the journalist, saying he has the understanding of a fifth- or sixth-grader, calling him an idiot, and describing efforts to explain to him why his impulses could cause a war.
The writer remains anonymous, but it’s not the first time we’ve heard that Trump Administration officials see themselves as protecting America from Trump. In April, NBC reported that eight different current and former White House officials say that John Kelly sees himself in exactly that role. Kelly responded at the time, calling this “total BS.”
However, whoever it may be, this newly published editorial reveals that someone in the White House does feel as though the administration’s job is to build a wall between Trump and America — and regardless of how many are willing to say so publicly, this individual says many of the others are doing the same work.