Many senior members of US President Donald Trump’s administration are so alarmed by his “erratic” and “amoral” behavior that they are actively working to undermine him and protect the country from his worst impulses, according to an anonymous “senior official” in the White House.
“President Trump is facing a test to his presidency unlike any faced by a modern American leader,” the official wrote in The New York Times Wednesday.
“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,” the official wrote in an op-ed article entitled “I Am Part of the Resistance Inside the Trump Administration.”
“The root of the problem is the president’s amorality,” the official said.
In the piece, the official described “early whispers” among members of Trump’s cabinet to take steps to remove him as president, but added they decided against it to avoid a constitutional crisis.
The official wrote that the root of the problem was that Trump is amoral and not moored to any discernible principles that guide his decision-making.
Asked about the column during a White House event, Trump called it a “gutless editorial,” bashed the New York Times as “failing,” and ticked off economic achievements that he said were proof of his leadership.
The unsigned piece appeared to reinforce the claims made in a new book by journalist Bob Woodward, excerpts of which were made public Tuesday, that describes a virtual cabal of high-minded White House and cabinet officials scheming to prevent Trump from taking decisions damaging to the US economy and national security.
The Washington Post, which obtained an advance copy of the book by the veteran chronicler of modern presidents, reported Tuesday that Woodward describes Trump manically pressing his staff for actions that could lead to major conflict — leaving them little choice but to disregard his orders.
The White House has condemned Woodward’s book as “nothing more than fabricated stories,” and Trump called it “a work of fiction.”
But the Times op-ed suggests that dissent and resistance inside Trump’s White House are even deeper than Woodward described.