Will Racke on September 6, 2018

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Thursday denied being the author of an anonymous op-ed in the New York Times proclaiming the existence of a cabal of administration insiders who are secretly working to thwart President Donald Trump and his agenda.

“I come from a place where if you’re not in a position to execute the commander’s intent, you have a singular option, that is to leave,” Pompeo said at a press conference in India, according to Fox News. “And this person instead, according to the New York Times, chose not only to stay but to undermine what President Trump and this administration are trying to do.”

Pompeo went on to criticize the media for what he said was a coordinated campaign to attack Trump.

“I have to tell you, I just find the media’s efforts in this regard to undermine this administration incredibly disturbing,” he said.

In the stunning op-ed, what TheNYT describes as a “senior administration official” writes that he is part of a secret group “working diligently from within to frustrate” parts of Trump’s agenda. He describes the administration as a “two-track presidency,” with an impulsive Trump making “reckless” decisions that have to be stalled or reversed by the writer and other “adults in the room.”

The publication of the op-ed immediately touched off a firestorm in the White House as speculation ran wild about the identity of the author. Press Secretary Sarah Sanders issued a statement calling the op-ed “pathetic, reckless, and selfish” and demanded that the writer identify himself and resign.

TheNYT has declined to elaborate on how it defines a “senior administration official” in this case. Typically, the term refers to a high-level political appointee that has been confirmed by the Senate, of which there more than 1,200 working in the government.

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