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USA: Trump press secretary Sarah Sanders calls for investigation into anonymous op-ed author

Sunday 16 September 2018, by siawi3

Source: https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2018/sep/10/trump-op-ed-author-investigation-sarah-sanders-calls-on-justice-department?utm_source=Communications&utm_campaign=287651cc05-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_2018_09_11_02_06&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_c67d07604c-287651cc05-248417241&mc_cid=287651cc05&mc_eid=77d00a34aa

Donald Trump
Sarah Sanders calls for investigation into anonymous op-ed author

Trump press secretary also attacked Fear author Bob Woodward’s credibility during White House press briefing

Lauren Gambino
in Washington

Mon 10 Sep 2018 22.18 BST
Last modified on Tue 11 Sep 2018 08.28 BST

“We’re certainly focused on things that actually matter,” said Sarah Sanders, White House press secretary, on Monday.
‘We’re certainly focused on things that actually matter,’ said Sarah Sanders, White House press secretary, on Monday. Photograph: Kevin Lamarque/Reuters

The anonymous author of a New York Times op-ed that is searingly critical of Donald Trump’s ability to be president is “attempting to undermine the executive branch”, the White House press secretary said on Monday.

Sarah Sanders added that the US Department of Justice should “look into” the writer’s identity, but declined to say whether the White House was actively hunting for the culprit, described as a senior administration official whose identity is known to the New York Times.

She also ruled out the possibility that lie detector tests would be used in the search, as the pro-Trump senator Rand Paul has suggested and Vice-President Mike Pence volunteered to undergo.
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“We’re certainly focused on things that actually matter,” Sanders said on Monday afternoon. It was the first White House briefing since the New York Times essay became public last week. And that came just a day after bombshell revelations in a new book by journalist Bob Woodward on the Trump White House, which described senior figures discussing the removal of the president from office, at one point, and calling him an idiot.
Trump blasts Woodward and threatens to ’write real book’ on presidency
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“It’s frankly, I think, sad and pathetic that a gutless anonymous source could receive so much attention from the media,” Sanders said of the New York Times piece.

She also parried a question about whether the president believes the wave of cabinet members and top officials who have come forward to plead not guilty to writing the essay.

Sanders then attacked Woodward’s credibility, saying that several members of the administration including Kelly and Mattis have disputed the characterization of events described in the book, Fear.

“It seems incredibly reckless for a book to make such outrageous claims to not even take the time to get a $10 factchecker to call around and verify that some of these quotes were happening,” she said.

On Monday morning, Trump, who reacted angrily to the one-two punch last week, threatened to write his own book about his presidency.