The White House says they’ve narrowed down the identity of the anonymous official who penned an anonymous op-ed blasting the Trump Administration to twelve potential individuals. While those 12 names are not public, those placing bets on the identity of the writer are putting their money on Fiona Hill. While she’s the “favorite,” there’s still only a 14% chance she’s the author, according to the statistics from bets placed on PredictIt. Hill is the Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director for European and Russian Affairs on his National Security Council staff.
She is also on the Advisory Board of the Central Eurasia Project of the Open Society Institute in New York. The Open Society Institute is George Soros’ grant-making network to fund political activities.
If the author is indeed Fiona Hill, that would be consistent with the theory of former Trump Campaign Manager Michael Caputo that the author is a woman. He said as much last week, and reiterated that point again yesterday on CNN, telling host Fredricka Whitfield:
“I’m fairly certain I know who it is. I have been going through the parlor games like everybody else has. I am also completely 100 percent certain that the person who wrote this is on the list of people who said they didn’t write it.”
Caputo also believes that the source doesn’t work in the White House – which would be consistent with Hill being the author. “I don’t believe this person is in the White House,” Caputo said, but insisted the individual has to be pretty high up. “It’s gotta be a deputy secretary level or higher, otherwise the New York Times is misleading people.”
Caputo later referred to the author as a “she” in the interview. “I think that first of all this person will never admit it because in my mind the author of this op-ed believes that she is a hero to the American people, that she in fact should be president instead of Donald Trump,” he said.
Caputo however wouldn’t say who the source was, despite his “100 percent certainty.” In all likelihood, he’s extremely confident in who the source is, but doesn’t want to risk disclosing the incorrect person in the event that he’s incorrect.
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While the New York Times described their source as a senior Trump staffer, they’ve overstated the positions of their anonymous sources in the past. One classic case comes from 2011 during an exposé on fracking. The Times claimed to have emails from industry leaders in the fracking industry where they stated the industry is nothing more than a “Ponzi scheme” … “set up for failure.” Every anonymous “senior executive” or “energy analyst” cited in the piece turned out to be interns or low-level employees.
And all the clues suggest the author ain’t that senior. As we noted earlier last week, “Jim Dao, the NYT’s opinion section editor, needed ‘testimony’ from a ‘trusted intermediary’ in order to verify that the author indeed worked in the administration. If the official were famous, how much testimony would you need?”
Another clue is that in the op-ed itself, the author describes an interaction with a colleague lamenting about one of President Trump initiatives as conferring with a “top official.” What kind of senior official describes a similarly ranked colleague as such?
The identity of the New York Times author may be a mystery for now, but soon enough, someone is about to hear a phrase Trump practically trademarked: “You’re fired.”
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