Who wrote the NY Times’ anonymous op-ed: Pence, Kellyanne or Mattis?


Who wrote the New York Times’ op-ed? We discussed the op-ed earlier, wherein some high-up “senior official” in the Trump White House basically wants to get credit for being part of the “resistance” while carrying out 95% of Donald Trump’s unhinged orders. To be clear, I’m glad that there’s a “bridge too far” for even die-hard Deplorables, and I’m glad that there are a handful of people within the administration who are capable of feeling shame and disgust at Dear Bigly Leader. But let’s also be clear: whoever this “senior administration official” is, he’s still an amoral jackass who does Trump’s bidding on almost everything, but he wants us to know he has feelings about it.

So who wrote it? My initial guess was Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis – Mattis was clearly one of Bob Woodward’s big sources (anonymous) in Fear. But some people have other guesses, like… maybe Mike Pence? It’s The Lodestar Conspiracy – the word “lodestar” was used in the op-ed, and look at this:

Except that the Vice President’s office denies that Pence authored the letter. (But what else would his office say?) I agree that Pence is not a great guess? I just don’t think Pence would ever think to do something like that. But who are the other subjects?

I could see Kellyanne as the author – she’s amoral, she’s never been a true believer in Trump, she loves attention, all of it. I think the guesses of Ivanka or Jared Kushner are funny, but they’re sort of bad guesses – I doubt Ivanka cares one bit about the 25th Amendment, nor does she even understand it. Jared is… I don’t know, I just don’t get the vibe that he would think this way. My guess is still Mattis, or maybe Kellyanne. Also:

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162 Responses to “Who wrote the NY Times’ anonymous op-ed: Pence, Kellyanne or Mattis?”

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  1. Morning Coffee says:

    My first thought was Kellyanne. Her hubby sure despises Trump. As deplorable as she is – and she is VERY deplorable – I think she joined the campaign for a paycheck and to improve her prospects for the future. Never in a million years do I think she thought he would win. I’m not even sure she voted for him. LOL!

    • MaryContrary says:

      Yes maybe Kellyanne. I think her private thoughts (no matter the crap she espouses on tv) could be far away from her husband’s. She found Trump awful before she joined his campaign. But the tone of the op ed kind of reads like this person is more involved in the policy development-especially for international relations-I don’t think that’s Kellyanne’s arena.

      • Mac says:

        I think there is a lot of language that sounds like it came from someone who served in Congress. I think it was written by Pence, Sessions, and Kelly. My theory that “intermediary” who delivered it to NYT is David Bradley. He is the ultimate Washington insider, and James Bennet was editor-in-chief when Bradley owned The Atlantic.

    • Erinn says:

      That was my guess, but I think it might be tooooo obvious. While I’d like to think it’s a woman in this mess that has at least two brain cells to rub together and attempt to avoid SOME of the catastrophe… I tend to believe she doesn’t care enough. I think she definitely thought this would be a good paycheck and possibly boost her career… but I’m not sold on the idea that her husband hates Trump as much as he claims. I can’t imagine it would help her work life having him spouting off on Twitter… I sort of think that he’s trying to keep a few connections in his pocket for when this presidency is over so they have at least one or two people who haven’t disowned them.

      I’m putting my money on the Pence rabbit.

      • SWP says:

        Haha! Your comment wins the internet today. That rabbit —despite his family—kills me!

      • Erinn says:

        Me too, SWP! Can’t stand these people, but Bundo is adorable.

      • Tiffany :) says:

        I agree, I don’t think it was Kellyanne, because she is too opportunistic. She wouldn’t have as many concerns as the person writing does. Also, I get the feeling she is pretty low on the power scale in the White House. I don’t think she would have this level of access (to know Cabinet considered 25th amendment, etc.).

      • tealily says:

        I disagree. I think this is a completely opportunistic move and could see this being Kellyanne. This is someone trying to distance themself from the president before his fall. And I really don’t believe that Trump follows any kind of normal protocall related to the availability of information. I’m sure he tells things to whoever he likes the best, and their place in the administration has very little bearing.

      • Mel says:

        I also believed in Pence before seeing the « lodestar » thing just because I stumbled upon an article two days ago that said « where is Pence right now? » and I remembered he existed and that he HAD been flying under the radar more lately…
        So…no proof lol! Just a hunch!

      • Trashaddict says:

        This really makes my paranoia kick in. You take Pence, who was too fundamentalist and goody-goody to be elected, get him in as VP under Trump (who is randy enough to be accepted by the good ‘ol boys) knowing full-well that at some point he’ll completely implode. Pence bides his time and then steps into the driver’s seat. Was that the plan all along?
        We’re in the frying pan with the Emperor who has no clothes. By golly, we’re about to jump into the fire.

    • TandemBikeEscapee says:

      I think there’s a lot to be said for an “agent provocateur”. Someone who is ‘woke, but destroys the machine from the inside out, but it doesn’t sound like a senior official. The higher ups are on putin’s payroll, and there’s no going backwards due to constant poisoning threats etc.

    • Va Va Kaboom says:

      I’m not sure the NYT would publish this if it was Conway though. Publishing this OpEd is very controversial and Kellyanne’s credibility is shot. If the public learns it’s her this will just be one more stunt in her circus act. I don’t think the NYT would go out on a limb for someone who is herself demonstrably flighty and amoral.

      • hunter says:

        Agreed, I believe the NYT felt strongly about the credibility and authority of this writer, the same cannot be said of general opinion for Kellyanne Conway.

    • bros says:

      CNN had a list of 13 plausibles. Don McGahn was one of them-he’s moral and normal and on his way out.

      • Morning Coffee says:

        Oh….McGahn is an interesting option. He’s known Trump for years too.

      • Mac says:

        If McGahn were moral and normal he would have quit Trump’s campaign when the Access Hollywood tape came out.

        The Week;y Standard suggests Larry Kudlow, Kevin Hassett, Dan Coates, or Pompeo. Hasset worked on both of McCain’s campaigns, which might explain the random reference to McCain.

      • Becks1 says:

        McGahn IS on his way out – so I doubt its him. He would just wait two weeks or whatever and publish something under his own name if he was dying to publish an op-ed like this (or wait for a book deal.)

      • Darla says:

        I disagree McGahn is normal, but he IS self-serving, so yeah, he’s a possibility.

      • veronica t says:

        I think whoever wrote it wanted the finger to be pointed to Pence, with the word “lodestar.” I think several people wrote it together. What is more important is that these people are running the country around Dotard. I have thought that for a while, but it really is a coup. I’m grateful for the coup, but they need to speak out.

  2. Ib says:

    During Mattis’s First month on the job, he reached out to my boss (a #2 at State Dept under HRC) for my boss’s advice on HOW to ‘please God’ sell NATO to Trump. I think it was Mattia. Sounded exactly like him

  3. launicaangelina says:

    I don’t know why, but my gut said Kellyanne.

    • Trashaddict says:

      KellyAnne is too useless and concerned for herself to be concerned about what happens to this country. Miss “Perch-on-the-couch”? Please.

  4. Christin says:

    My first guesses were Mattis or Kelly — older, with less to lose if they are discovered.

    If Kellyanne is credited, she had to have a ghostwriter.

    • The Other Katherine says:

      I just find it impossible to believe that any high-ranking career military officer wrote this. Not because I don’t think they’d engage in palace intrigue or propaganda ops or attempts to burnish their post-dumpster-fire halo, but because the focus and tone feels way, way off. This feels like a policy wonk with natsec and foreign policy interests, and my guess would be someone below cabinet level.

      • Juls says:

        I’m gonna throw a curveball here. So, we’ve established that it’s a cabinet member, probably, right? I’m gonna go with sec. Of agriculture Perdue. He was a Democrat until 1998 then switched to GOP so we have established that his skirt blows which ever way the wind blows. Plus, 2 days ago he enacted a program for farmers to protect them from Trumps trade war under the guise of “unfair retaliation” on farmers by other countries due to Trumps policies. My gut says he’s pissed enough to leak this op-ed and low-profile enough to avoid suspicion. Thoughts?

      • Dara says:

        The tone and writing style is odd, and doesn’t sound at all like someone who has spent their life in public or military service. @Katherine, I think you and I are on the same page, a deputy or aide that is a relative newcomer to Washington but wants to salvage whatever career prospects they may have after working for the Trump administration. I might be leaning more towards someone on the political or legislative side though, rather than foreign policy.

        @Juls, Perdue is an interesting idea I hadn’t considered. But honestly, if there are cabinet-level officials in Trump’s White House that start a paragraph in a very high-profile op-ed with “Don’t get me wrong” our problems are much, much bigger than Trump’s idiocy. In some spots, it almost sounded like something I would read (or write) here on CB. It’s a blog post, not a serious piece of writing from a serious person.

      • Christin says:

        Juls, it could be someone with less name recognition who decided to pen this. The Times claims the person (supposedly a senior level person) is concerned about job security, too.

        I would love to see a fed up employee walk up to Acosta one afternoon and say, “Start filming! I am going to tell you what is going on…” Yet we know the other circus clowns would create a distraction within minutes to again overtake the news cycle.

      • noway says:

        Now the NYT says they didn’t change the writing style although they edited it for writing standards, but if you want to be anonymous my guess is the writer may have changed the style up a bit which makes it seem stilted to you. Maybe a spouse or friend edited it for style. So I don’t think you can go by that. Are we really going to have to wait 2-6 years for this? I hope and pray it’s less than 2.

      • GreenTurtle says:

        100% agree with The Other Katherine. This reeks of seniorish bureaucrat with excellent ties into the West Wing. No freaking way this was Mattis. This is not how an honorable career military member would approach the problem.

  5. minx says:

    Despite what a lot of people say I don’t think it was Pence. Just doesn’t seem like him.
    I’m going with Mattis.

    • MaryContrary says:

      I don’t think Pence is smart enough to have these thoughts.

    • Esmom says:

      Yeah, I agree it’s not Pence. People are speculating that “lodestar” is a red herring, which makes sense to me.

      Mattis and Conway seem more plausible. I was just listening to a Trump aide on NPR (not sure who, I missed his intro) saying it is likely not anyone senior, not anyone with any access to Trump. Nothing to see here, right? Lol, ok.

      • EllieMichelle says:

        I think it was a red herring to throw Pence into the mix.

      • lucy2 says:

        I agree about the red herring. I don’t think Pence gives 2 sh!ts about anything the writer seems to be conveying, and is just quietly sitting in a corner with Mother and waiting for Trump to implode.
        The “don’t paint us all as villains!” whining makes me think Kellyanne, but everything else, especially the whole “country first” makes me think Mattis.

      • Christin says:

        Reading the essay in its entirety doesn’t lead to any solid clue as to what type of job the person has. The writer quotes others and drops references to policy, international affairs and rule of law.

        I still think it could be Kelly (drama queen in disguise) or Mattis. Someone wants to be seen as a hero once the boat is completely submerged. Reverend is near the bottom of my guesses.

      • Trashaddict says:

        Maybe Pence is just dumb enough not to cover up his usual catch-phrases.

  6. Kaye says:

    I don’t have the impression that Kellyanne is articulate enough to have written this.

    • Wasabi says:

      Also she’s thirsty! No way she would do anything without credit and/or immediate gratification.

      • MaryContrary says:

        She is a huge leaker-so a lot of what she does flies way under the radar and she would not want it getting back.

    • ByTheSea says:

      Kellyanne was a corporate attorney for years. She’s definitely intelligent and articulate enough to do this.

  7. Jouce says:

    My first guess is Mattis, then Kelly.

    • Lacia Can says:

      Kelly was my first guess, then Mattis. The complaints weren’t about basic domestic policy, they were about trump’s temperament and his ignorance. Kelly is a conservative Republican but we’ve heard and seen evidence that he’s exasperated with trump himself. Remember his reaction when “he didn’t get his full breakfast” at the most recent NATO gathering?

      But who knows, really? I think the most important question is why did the person choose to write the op ed? It’s just such a scorched earth tactic. I haven’t seen this addressed anywhere.

      • noway says:

        I think it’s Kelly, because as of yet he hasn’t denied it. Plus I think Kelly has just about had it. He rolls his eyes makes faces in public when Trump does something nuts. He tells Homeland Security he shouldn’t have left. Plus for a military person to do this you would really have to leave your training, and I think he does think he is in crazy town as he supposedly said in Woodward’s book so I think he feels he had to do this.

        Now Mattis maybe, but he is denying it, and honestly, he is just ignoring Trump and has pretty much been left alone at the Pentagon. He has more power than most others so I just don’t see it. Plus sorry I think he would be the one who would probably kick Trump in his ass directly. Can’t see him writing an op-ed about it. Kelly seemed more likely for that.

      • Lacia Can says:

        Noway- your argument against Mattis being the author is fair. There were a couple of pieces that I read recently suggesting he’s on his way out (gods help us if that’s true). That made me think he might be willing to write something like this. He is also definitely seen as an adult who will do what he thinks is right (not what trump wants), which was the whole theme of the op ed. But you’re likely right that wasn’t him for the reasons you mentioned.

  8. Indiana Joanna says:

    I think it’s Rev. Pence. The lodestar reference, the no moral center comment, and the saviour tone of it all. He’s been adding staff to his election campaign. And he’s dumb enough to think that this is a clever ploy. I can see him and Mother praying about whether or not to do it. And I can see them secretly discussing it with Evangelicals.

    Rev. Pence, my guess.

    • Millenial says:

      A diabolical plot to takeover the presidency? I could see it.

      • Jan90067 says:

        A lot of news pundits yesterday were calling it a kind of “coup”. If only it was more immediate of a take over!!

    • Wilma says:

      Yes, I think the GOP is prepping for president Pence and this is all part of the damage control.

    • Cate says:

      Maybe Mother wrote it, without telling Pence?

    • neocleo says:

      I’m with you. Pence is ready to jump in and take over for the chief. He’s every bit as terrifying as Trump without all the crazy. Sabotage.

      • jwoolman says:

        Neocleo- No, Pence is not every bit as terrifying as Trump. Pence is not an impulsive, ignorant, extreme narcissist with sociopathic tendencies likely to blow up the planet on a whim or as a distraction.

        Pence will be a challenge because of his extreme religious views and he pretty much has the same domestic agenda as Trump because that’s the Republican agenda. But he is a normal person otherwise and understands how government and democracy work. He doesn’t believe protest should be made illegal, as Trump has recently said. He is not thin-skinned like Trump, he got used to being booed here in Indiana. And I think others in the world will be able to work with him, while Trump is ridiculously impossible.

        Also I doubt that Pence is in Putin’s pocket. He might be involved with some of Trump’s criminal activity since he’s lied so much during and after the campaign, so I can’t say that he is not of interest to Bob Mueller. But I would be surprised if Pence is as entangled financially with the Russians as Trump is.

    • Wood Dragon says:

      My guess too. He stands to benefit and he’s the sort to believe God wants him to be President. He would be nightmarish on a whole different level.

    • Molly8047 says:

      My call is Pence’s chief of staff Nick Ayers. Close second is “Mother” :)

      Who in the White House is a confirmed Repub “Never Trumper”– the whining about him not being a true conservative is the tip-off not “Lodestar” to me.

    • Fleur says:

      You can disagree with him all you want, but I take issue with your comment’s implicit attack on Christianity and Evangelicals as a community. You think his faith is ridiculous. I don’t. There’s nothing wrong with being Evangelical or Christian (or Buddhist or Hindu or Islamic or any other religion). I would like to think this is a space where the community doesn’t make attacks on someone based on their religious beliefs, whatever those beliefs may be.

      Now if you disagree with his politics or his calling his wife “Mother”, dig in all you want…

      • Arpeggi says:

        Pence is a religious zealot and a bigot, he’s a radicalized christian and, like any other fundamentalist, he has a completely deformed vision of his religion’s message and what faith should be. His actions are in complete opposition with the concept of separation between Church and State and have led to actual damages (increased rate of HIV transmission in his home state, promotion of inhumane “therapy conversion”, etc.). So yeah, in such a case, we can criticize his kind of “christianity”. The same way we can and should criticize the Duggars, the reverand who asked for his 7th private jet or the ISIS zealots.

      • Endoplasmic_ridiculum says:

        I dont think it’s plain Christianity that’s the issue… it’s the kind of kookaid Christianity which is used to disenfranchise women that she’s probably referring to here.

      • Trashaddict says:

        I will leave his faith out of this. But I have this little itty bitty problem with separation of church and state-

  9. Boston Green Eyes says:

    I think it’s probably not Pence – just someone trying to look like him using a word only he uses. I don’t think it was Kellyanne, she is too dumb – the piece was too well-written for her single neuron brain. Maybe Mattis. Or maybe Ivanka or Jared?

    • Nancy says:

      That was my thought as well. Using a word only he uses isn’t very clever. Not very clever sounds like Kellyanne who is too ignorant to even try to bring down the house. Like a game, Clue. Miss Scarlett in the conservatory with a wrench. Not Ivanka, daddy’s girl. Idk, but cannot wait to see what happens next. *I first heard the letter when it was read aloud by a stand-in for a regular on CNN. I was irritated at her lack of reading skills, let alone the content of this novella*

    • Lightpurple says:

      Ivanka never heard of the 25th Amendment until somebody handed this to her late yesterday. She won’t turn on Daddy until she herself is threatened with prison, legitimately threatened, like sitting in an office at the courthouse with her lawyers telling her to cut a deal before the jury comes back with a verdict against her worse than Ethel Rosenberg’s.

      • Nancy says:

        In all seriousness, until now, I doubt 45 heard of the 25th Amendment. This man is not Constitution friendly. He knows what he learned in high school.

      • Indiana Joanna says:

        She sent out another awful tweet about the echo chamber or something. She is shockingly stupid, manipulative and greedy.

      • jwoolman says:

        Ivanka and Jared don’t have the knowledge to write something like this, although they have been around since the beginning. They are really concerned with their own finances and don’t really care about the politics.

        At the moment, they also must be busy packing for a family vacation to Israel that will conveniently continue until their Israeli citizenship comes through… They must realize they are also in legal danger and need somewhere that won’t extradite to the US.

    • Jan90067 says:

      One of my many thoughts was the Feckless C**t having a hand in it. This way, it’s her way of saying, “See?? I was ALWAYS behind the scenes, trying to help!”, so she won’t be thrown under the same bus (and put in the same orange jumpsuit) as her Dumpsterfire father.

      I think it’s mostly Kelly. He has no Fs to give anymore.

  10. adastraperaspera says:

    Maybe either a member of the Pence cabal who is laying the groundwork to expel Trump so they can all pretend to have been against him all this is time…or, Trump and Miller, with the aim of an Erdogan-type purge of moderates and wholesale takeover by family.

  11. Dorothy#1 says:

    A few commenters on CNN last night thought it was John Kelly.

  12. Tania says:

    It’s not Pence. He is getting what he wants under this administration so why would he complain about it? Two supreme court picks and hating on people of color. He’s loving this era. Mother approves.

    My guess is Mattis.

    But, they get no cookies. They get nothing. If they want to be the resistance, JOIN US! We’re all out here fighting, knocking on doors, trying to elect strong Democrats, volunteering, donating to causes that help those being hurt by this administration and its full on hate. They’re getting paid very well, with very good health care and benefits. There is no praise they deserve while they continue to support this #notmypresident.

    • MaryContrary says:

      Did you see the opinion piece last night by David Frum? His point was that this op-ed coming out makes Trump even more erratic, paranoid and less likely to listen to people in his administration. Plus, if they are truly concerned about our country’s welfare they should be officially taking this to Congress-stand up, say who you are and what’s going on.

      • Darla says:

        I thought Frum made excellent points there.

      • bros says:

        that’s true-if they were really courageous, they would be actually, in public, building consensus for an invoking of the 25th amendment, due to incapacitation, which is not that hard to argue with this one!

        one thing it does do is poke the raging bull, and make it even more likely he acts out. he’s a bad judge of character and won’t know where to turn with his suspicions. I love the idea of him ripping up the floor boards and shredding the oval office wall paper trying to find The TELLTALE HEART.

        the op-ed is deliberately provocative so as to make it more likely he does something truly stupid.

        There are ways to take this guy down, but undermining him in secret is not one of them, and what they are doing is actually illegal. if the guy is not fit to serve, make it the HELL KNOWN.

      • Erinn says:

        YES. This.

        They’re cowards too, just a different kind of coward. They’re allowing this dumpster fire to keep burning along to get the items they agree with rolled out instead of actually fighting for what’s right.

      • lucy2 says:

        That’s what I keep saying – if you feel the president is a danger to the country, and you are someone whose opinion should be respected (such as a cabinet member or high ranking military person) it is your DUTY to take action on it.

  13. Marjorie says:

    The person who wrote it is duplicitous, self-serving, and cowardly, for all the virtuous crap in the article. More like a Vichy official (live with Hitler so we can keep nice things) than a resistance fighter (courageous). It could be any of those lizards at the White House.

  14. Rapunzel says:

    You know, this would be genius if it was Trump setting up an insanity defense to not only get himself out of office but also escape punishment for any of his other crimes.

    Or it could even be a Trump trap to make the New York Times look bad. Because he knows they’ve got something else coming soon. I hope the New York Times vetted this thoroughly.

    • Indiana Joanna says:

      LOL. The insanity defense theory is hilarious, but sadly plausible.

      • Lorelei says:

        Seriously ANYTHING is plausible with these people. I’m no conspiracy theorist but absolutely nothing would surprise me anymore.

    • sa says:

      I think you give Trump too much credit for being able to plan ahead.

    • Fluffy Princess says:

      Although it’s an interesting speculation, let’s face it, he can barely read or write. He is Literally not smart enough to not only think of it, but to formulate a way to pull it off.

  15. Lightpurple says:

    Mattis and Conway together with her putting in “lodestar” to implicate Pence. Pence and Mattis can invoke the 25th Amendment. Kellyanne cannot.

    And no, definitely not Princess Nagini or Tom Malevolo Riddle.. Nagini doesn’t know there is a 25th Amendment.

    • Christin says:

      She probably thinks 25th Amendment is a proposal to officially add one hour to each day. That way, super busy working mothers like her can get another hour of sleep after their 16+ hour days (which she used to claim to work).

    • C-Shell says:

      Wishful thinking …

    • EllieMichelle says:

      I honestly think it may have been a group effort too. I also think it was written in a way to implicate Pence as the author. I hope it’s driving Donald nuts.

  16. jessamine says:

    There was some backing and forthing on the political blogs I follow that it couldn’t be Pence because the foreword notes the author is anonymous to avoid jeopardizing their job and Pence is literally the only person working in the WH (other than POTUS) that can’t be fired …. BUT if Pence was outed as the author is would be incredibly damaging: Trump certainly wouldn’t pick him for reelection and half the republican base would turn on him immediately. And it’s not like the revelation would make any Dems go all “hey, mother’s husband isn’t such a bad guy after all” so he wouldn’t pick up any support there.

    So of the three either Pence or Mattis showing some next-level POTUS-trolling by casting suspicion on Pence. Not Kellyanne, though. She’s an inarticulate twit.

  17. Becks1 says:

    I think its Pence, mainly because there is such a focus on the conservative agenda, and that good conservative things are still happening “in spite of” Trump and not “because of” him. I think that sounds like someone who is trying to salvage their political career because they plan to run for office in the near future (ie 2020.)

    I don’t think Mattis would care about that.

    I don’t think its Kellyanne. I think if she felt that way about Trump she would leave, especially considering the state of her marriage (from her own lips.)

    • bros says:

      I agree Mattis would not bother citing the tax cuts.

      that said, if you are clever, you throw in red herrings, like lodestar and references to his other policies.

  18. Jerusha says:

    Chris Hayes says it’s the GOP’s CYA strategy.

    • Christin says:

      That is a broader “CYA” theory than one of my initial thoughts, which I posted on the other thread. The legal noose is tightening, and anyone on staff is subject to significant legal exposure and costs. How convenient to be able to claim this op-ed later.

      But it could also be a mid-term party strategy, too.

  19. Layla says:

    Kellyanne Conjob or Mattis. Could also be Dan Coates.

    • Marty says:

      A MSNBC host guessed Coats. He has nothing to loose due to his age. He is one of few hired due to experience in his position. He also knows the Russia thing is real. He has expressed his opinion on the matter. If he is the one, could the motives be sound? This is a guy trying to raise the Russia alarm and no one is listening in DC.

  20. MaryContrary says:

    My guess is that it’s someone who’s there everyday (involved more with foreign policy, would be my guess) and wasn’t a Trump supporter to begin with, but is a true conservative. My money is on Dan Coates, Director of National Intelligence or someone who’s a step down from the bigger players but is still in a lot of the meetings.

  21. boredblond says:

    I’m still betting Coats or someone on his staff..or someone in the security/military staff we never heard of, because the world-reaching danger seems to be what concerns the author most. No way it’s kellywhoizit..she’s a liar who holds no credence with the NYT.

  22. Roxi says:

    It was Dan Coats. Watch the Lawrence O’Donnell YouTube video. Completely convincing.

    • Marjorie says:

      Thanks, I watched the video and it’s Coats.

    • isabelle says:

      meh..he isn’t involved daily in meetings with The WH, or considered senior Staff, he is a come and go person as needed. The op-ed sounds like this person is everyday there on scene a-lister for WH.

  23. Ha Va Kaboom says:

    I enjoy a good Whodunnit on a random Thursday morning, so… Would the NYT even print this OpEd if Kellyanne is the author? She may be a top official, but I don’t think they’d go out on a limb for Mrs. “Bowling Green Massacre” Conway.

    Don’t cross off Pence, this is definitely something he’d do if he thought it would hasten Trump’s exit. By all accounts Pence thinks he’s much more politically savvy than he is and is desperate to become President. I can picture him working on this piece with one of his own top officials and having that person take it to the NYT with his tacit approval.

    It’s probably Mattis, but if so, he’s a bit of idiot for doing this. Who knows if the response to the OpEd will become anything more than media fodder. Meanwhile he’ll be fired if and when his identity is revealed. So bye bye one of the few competent “adults” in the room.

  24. why? says:

    John Kelly. It wasn’t to warn us about the Dotard, it was to protect himself from whatever fallout from the Trump Russian probe that is about to come out. What the press should be asking is if John Kelly has talked to Mueller despite Guiliani’s claims that they won’t let him to speak to Mueller.

    I think that the press is being stupid by claiming that the leak confirms that the Dotard was right about the “Deep State” or people trying to ruin him. These civility arguments have got to stop. The Democrats can’t talk about impeaching the Dotard or the Russian probe because it will mobilize the Dotard’s base and now anyone who leaks from within the WH is mobilizing the Dotard’s base? The op-ed wasn’t about the Dotard, it sounds more like a person trying to clear his name in Mueller’s investigation. Check the tone. The person claims to be the adult in the WH, did everything possible to stop the Dotard, and didn’t take any part in the bad decisions the Dotard has made.

  25. Chloe says:

    My guess is McGahn. On the way out with nothing to lose.

  26. hindulovegod says:

    I’m convinced by the evidence for Larry Kudlow. The mainline conservatives want to retain their former lives after this. They don’t understand that going all in with white nationalism won’t wash off.

    • bros says:

      I agree it’s one of these types. The letter reeks of ego and skin-saving. hit and run. has to be someone yellow bellied and self-preservationist: Dan Coates, Don McGahn, Larry Kudlow, even Wilbur Ross.

      • hindulovegod says:

        Coates (or someone on his team) also makes sense. They don’t understand that what they are currently doing IS the Constitutional Crisis. I recommend an eighth grade civics class and a spine.

      • The Other Katherine says:

        Don McGahn I might believe, although I’m dubious he has this level of foreign policy interest. Don’t think it’s Coats for reasons I explained on the other article — even assuming it’s accurate (which I do), publishing this op-ed makes the admin function worse, not better, and I think Coats is going to try to make the executive branch run as well as possible for as long as he is still in his post. Not sure Larry Kudlow is responsible enough to have these kinds of concerns, given this is the dude who did too much coke even for Bear Stearns in the 90s. Wilbur Ross is too old, rich, narcissistic, and possibly senile to bother himself with this.

  27. Lindy says:

    I agree with the general GOP CYA theory. My guesses are 1) Kelly 2) Pence 3) Jeff Sessions. I really want it to be ol’ Jeffie, and quite frankly I think he’s the only one with enough intelligence to pull this off. Kelly, maybe (and I’m talking about Kelly, not Kellyanne. ) I could also see Kudlow, Ross or McGahn, maybe Coates.

    In any event, it’s disingenuous and cowardly and gross, and if this person is hoping to save his own a$$ if a midterm sweep/impeachment happens–he can unmask himself and the NYT can confirm he was the author–then he’s extra gross. He’s not some internal resist hero. At all.

  28. Digital Unicorn says:

    Oooh the Kavanaugh hearing is getting hot – someone leaked a confidential email to the NYT from 2003 where he states that Roe vs Wade is NOT settled law, that the court can always overrule it and that 3 justices on the SC will do so.

    Sen Booker is also threatening to break the rules and leak an email about BK and racial profiling.

    Dems are fighting dirty – about time. Now we know why the WH kept all that information back, its very very damaging for Kavanaugh.

    • The Other Katherine says:

      Crap, now I gotta go get back on Twitter. Someone turn off the firehose!

    • bros says:

      oh please please please let the dems fight dirty FOR ONCE IN THEIR GODFORSAKEN POLITICAL LIVES.

      we have repubs leaking the CIA application files of candidates running for office. There is literally NO line they won’t cross, as we gain NOTHING at ALL but the rarefied taste of air as we take the stupid high road. the high road to nowheresville.

      • EllieMichelle says:

        I hope they play dirty too. The MAGA nutjobs will complain and deride the left no matter what. Maybe it’s time to muddy the waters a little bit. Shoot, the GOP is filthy.

      • Louisa says:

        I am so happy to hear they are finally fighting back with leaking these docs. Kamala Harris yesterday was giving me chills when she kept pressing BK on whether he had spoken to anyone at a particular law firm (started by Trump’s personal lawyer) about Mueller. She knows something. And he was flustered. It was a thing of beauty.

      • Fluffy Princess says:

        Yes! This is why attorney Michael Avenatti is SO popular. Why? BECAUSE HE FIGHTS BACK!! If some cable news person says something about him, he is on Twitter the moment he finds out and PUSHES BACK against the GOP BS. He’s playing their game, getting in their faces, and half the time the DEMS are like, “Oh we don’t know him!” “We need more civility.” Dems WANT A FIGHTER!! Who will fight for us like the GOP and their mad dogs fight for them? Dems need to quit worrying about being centrist enough — how about energizing the DEMOCRATIC base instead of worrying about how mean the other side will be if they do anything?

        I think it’s time for Schumer and Pelosi’s play book to be shelved. This is a new era and new tactics are needed to win this war, and Dems need to be BRAVE enough to put on the gloves and come out swinging. But don’t get your hopes up, they seem to wimp out every single time.

      • Derriere says:


      • Lorelei says:

        Agreed 100%. The time for “when they go low, we go high” passed a LONG time ago. In fact I didn’t even believe it past election night. We absolutely cannot afford to take that attitude anymore.

    • Tiffany :) says:

      This is CRAZY times, man!!!

      Booker says he knows he could get kicked out of the Senate for this, but he released the emails anyway!!!!!!


      (those are giant balls, or as giant as I could make them with my keyboard).

      • hunter says:

        Corey Booker is my hero.

      • Fluffy Princess says:

        Cory Booker basically was like, “Come at me, bro! Come at me!” Good for him!

        And Leahy NAILED Kavanaugh this morning–and brought the receipts, too! Busted him flat out. It was a nice, nice moment.

  29. RBC says:

    My money is on Pence, he may not have wrote it himself but had someone close to him do it with his blessings. He is tied up in this Russia mess, but has somehow managed to keep it from getting out.
    He is waiting for 45 to crash and burn, then he can come in as the “stable and knowledgeable “ one who can lead the country. Also if the op ed author is found out and charged with a crime couldn’t a president pardon him or her?

  30. Malificent says:

    McGahn, Mattis, or possibly Coates.
    It’s not Pence — he’s in it for the long con, so he’s not going to make a single misstep. He wasn’t going to get re-elected governor of Indiana. So, he knows that this is his only shot at the White House.
    I don’t think it’s Conway either. I think she personally loathes Trump, and I have no doubt that she leaks. But this is a paycheck to her — I don’t think she’d summon up that level of patriotism or moral outrage.

  31. tw says:

    My gut says Kellyanne, and she’s crafty enough to throw people of the scent with a lodestar or two.

    • NotSoSocialButterfly says:

      When I first heard the “…adult in the room…” comment, I thought it sounded like a woman, and she does have an axe to grind after the Rump insulted her spouse, but I think Pompeo is also a strong possibility. I think of how he spoke in a measured, patriotic and calm manner in his hearings, and to me both sound similar.

  32. NotSoSocialButterfly says:

    Pompeo, who fairly shouted while flailing his arms overhead ,

  33. jwoolman says:

    I think lodestar was a red herring to imply Pence. The NYT said the writer’s job would be in jeopardy without anonymity, and Trump can’t fire his Vice President. So Pence is unlikely for that reason alone. I also doubt he would do it, he’s been a compliant sycophant all his adult life.

    It has to be a diehard Republican who is delighted with the awful agenda being pushed by Trump, just very worried by Trump’s instability, stupidity, and bull in a china shop management style. The op-ed made it clear that the writer thought what Trump has accomplished in spite of being such an impulsive dope (who doesn’t even understand the agenda he’s allegedly pushing) was just fine and dandy. The emphasis seems to be on his foreign policy craziness due to extreme ignorance and inability to learn, as well as on his volatility (he changes his mind several times a day…).

    I almost wonder if it was released to try to reassure people that things aren’t so bad because of the remaining “adults in the room” who allegedly will contain Trump in his worst moments. So this might actually be just aimed at trying to preserve whatever Republican seats in Congress that they can. They must think enough Republicans are getting scared that they might stay home in November. I think the Democrats and Independents are pretty much terrified already….

    I doubt that it’s Kellyanne – she is just a gun for hire and doesn’t care how bad Trump is as long as she gets paid. It has to be somebody that actually cares.

    Pompeo (former CIA Director, now Secy of State) and Coats (national intelligence director) have been suggested because both have Congressional experience and Lawrence O’Donnell on MSNBC at least thinks it sounds very much like somebody who has been in Congress. And they both would likely care. His bet is that it is Dan Coats because of the two, Coats is the one with no further political ambitions (he is in his seventies) and so has nothing to lose. O’Donnell pointed out that the praise heaped upon specifically Coats’ areas supports that theory. Also Coats has not been shy about challenging Trump out loud on the Russia issue.

    But others have said they think it is a lower level senior official.

    Must be driving Trump crazier than usual trying to figure it out. Maybe he will just fire everybody.

    We have become participants in a national game of Clue.

    • Tiffany :) says:

      I like your analysis.

    • Esmom says:

      “I almost wonder if it was released to try to reassure people that things aren’t so bad because of the remaining “adults in the room” who allegedly will contain Trump in his worst moments. So this might actually be just aimed at trying to preserve whatever Republican seats in Congress that they can.”

      This makes a ton of sense. Needless to say, I hope it backfires.

    • OkieOpie says:

      Excellent analysis.

  34. Incredulous says:

    I think it was Miller. It strikes me that his is the only agenda served by the op-ed due to any and all reaction from Trump.

  35. Themummy says:

    It’s not Kellyanne. She is not concerned about moral centers or patriotism. And she could never write so coherently.

    It is not McGahn. Not now that he’s been dealing with Mueller.

    It is someone who has regular access to his desk so they can swipe documents from it AND who knows what documents would be sitting there at a given time. So—someone in the White House. So it’s definitely not Sessions or someone heading up another department or angency.

    I also tend to think “lodestar” is a red herring, but maybe not. Sometimes when peopl have a word they constantly use they aren’t aware they are doing it. My husband says the word “ultimately” constantly, for example, and after ten years of it I pointed it out. He was genuinely surprised.

    I think it was Coates or Kelly. Possibly Mattis. Possibly Pence…maybe.

    • Christin says:

      You bring up a good point about automatically using certain words or phrases, and how using “lodestar” could go either way. I think someone else brought up “cold comfort” and “adults in the room” as phrases others had previously used.

      It could be purposeful (to throw readers off the trail), or just routine use of a word, without realizing how telling it is.

    • jwoolman says:

      Since Pence uses “lodestar” so much, it’s quite possible that others around him have picked it up (after checking a dictionary, as I had to do…). Likewise with phrases like “adults in the room”. Certain words and phrases are contagious.

  36. Anastasia says:

    I think it was definitely more than one person! Mattis definitely in there, possibly Kelly.

    • Themummy says:

      I don’t think that it was two people. The reason being is that the Person who wrote it did so in the first person, indicating a single person speaking. Because this was submitted anonymously, it is incredibly important that there be integrity and the rest of the document. For them to speak in the first person sayin person who wrote it did so in the first person, indicating a single person speaking. Because this was submitted anonymously, it is incredibly important that there be integrity and the rest of the document. For them to speak in the first person, And then there turn out to be more than one person, it would actually delegitimize the document. The world would wonder what else about it was deceptive.

      Edit: Excuse my typos I was speaking that into my phone as I was driving. I’m not illiterate.

  37. sassafras says:

    I’m going to throw a dark horse guess out there: Nikki Haley.

    She’s got future ambitions, she’s in the foreign policy arena (so she’s presumably (hopefully) been spending a lot of time talking sense to allies and diplomats) and she spends enough time in NYC to be out of the line of fire and be able to meet with NYT people without attracting attention.

    It would be a strategic move for her to come out of this presidency as an independent conservative WOC w/ foreign policy experience who can claim #resistance cred.

    My second guess is McGahn because he’s been covering his butt for over a year now.

    • Derriere says:

      I like this, but I don’t think she needs an op-ed for cover. She’s stayed out of the line of fire and out of the press for a while. Plus, I don’t think she’s in Trump’s presence often enough to affect any real policy changes.

    • angry bird says:

      I don’t think it is Nikki Haley. She wrote an Op-Ed in WaPo today: “When I challenge the president, I do it directly.” I don’t think it is her.

  38. Arpeggi says:

    I doubt it’s Conway, Pence, Mattis, Pompeo or any of the Cabinet members. It’s probably a deputy or an aid, someone who is present to Cabinet meetings and write some of the documents that are presented during those meetings and has high security clearance and is known to any Washington insider but not to the general public. After all, they are the people that actually do the work, write the breifings and all that. And they’d be burnt for life if their name was disclosed; who’d ever employ them?

    I know it’s less “sexy”, but c’mon! It’s the most likely option

  39. Electric Tuba says:

    I think two people wrote it and went through effort to disguise their own writing/speech patterns. Or the FBI or another agency wrote it to make Agent Orange accelerate his demise or force someone to show their hand. Like when cops will say they arrested a suspect or have no suspect in a widely publicized case so that the real criminal will show their azz and do something stupid to get caught.
    Not sure if I expressed this sentiment correctly. Umm… like they are trying to smoke that rat out?

    Anyway anything is possible in this sheet show ya know. It’s all horrible. Pass the vodka lord help us

  40. Oliviajoy1995 says:

    At first I thought it was Paul Ryan since he’s leaving soon anyway, but is he considered a senior level staffer?

  41. isabelle says:

    Mattis-nope, don’t think he would hide behind a piece of paper and he hasn’t declared his political party choice before, conservative or Democratic. He seems to be neutral, his job before a political party. So the person whoever it is aligning with the republicans, can’t see Mattis doing it. these dumb as*es in Trump cabinet will pin it on him though, guarantee it.

  42. isabelle says:

    I’m throwing out for the heck of it Stephen Miller-cause that disgusting POS would attempt to pin it on someone else * would love to push farther the deep state theory…… and mention of immigration, being central to the piece.

  43. OkieOpie says:

    It is likely that there is no actual person who wrote this. It could be a gathering of opinions from people within the White house and something done to deliberately make Trump suspicious of those around him. The lodestar thing is too obvious. That, to me, seems more like someone WANTED people to believe it is Pence. Who knows. The whole thing seems really off. The person could potentially be prosecuted for treason and the secret service is now investigating and I question whether anyone would be willing to take that risk. We will see. Very interesting to be sure.

    • Tiffany :) says:

      1. I don’t think the NYT would take such a risk as to not verify that it was a person who actually was in the administration who wrote this. Perhaps it was a group effort, but I think that would increase vulnerability of those who wrote it. Everyone is paranoid in the White House.

      2. I do agree that it seems like the author wanted people to think of Pence.

      3. This isn’t treason, which has a very specific definition and must come during a war:
      “Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying War against them, or in adhering to their Enemies, giving them Aid and Comfort. No Person shall be convicted of Treason unless on the Testimony of two Witnesses to the same overt Act, or on Confession in open Court. The Congress shall have Power to declare the Punishment of Treason, but no Attainder of Treason shall work Corruption of Blood, or Forfeiture except during the Life of the Person attainted.”

  44. Susan says:

    The best reasoned guess I heard was Dan Coats as laid out by Lawrence O’Donnell on MSNBC.

  45. Worried About Everything says:

    Hope Hicks.

  46. angry bird says:

    Watch the person be Raj Shah or something. SMH.

    My bet is John Kelly.