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Trump Wants Justice Department to Unmask Op-Ed Writer

President sees it as a matter of national security if author is a high-ranking official
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 7, 2018 1:07 PM CDT
President Trump talks to reporters while in flight from Billings, Mont., to Fargo, ND, on Friday.   (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

(Newser) – President Trump has demanded that the New York Times reveal the name of the person who penned a scathing anonymous op-ed against him this week, and a Washington Post report noted that "startled" White House aides are even scrutinizing the opinion piece's language patterns to see if they could tie them to a particular person within the administration. On Thursday, the Times reported that people close to Trump have suggested administration members sign sworn affidavits on whether they had anything to do with the op-ed, while Sen. Rand Paul offered that Trump should make people take lie-detector tests. On Friday, Trump took things up a notch more with a suggestion he made to reporters aboard Air Force One.

The president's wish: for Attorney General Jeff Sessions to start a probe into the author's identity, the AP reports. Trump, who called the op-ed a "national security" issue, said that the op-ed writer may have high-level security clearance and, if so, "I don't want him in those meetings." When asked if he planned on taking any action against the paper, Trump responded, "We're going to see, I'm looking at that right now," adding, with an apparent assumption that the writer is a male: "We're going to take a look at what he had, what he gave, what he's talking about, also where he is right now." When asked by CNN about any possible probe, a Justice Department spokeswoman said, "We do not confirm or deny investigations." (A Weekly Standard pundit has four people in mind as potentially being the op-ed writer.)

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