The op-ed represents a shocking critique of Trump and is without precedent in modern American history.
The senior official admits that there have been some positive steps taken by the administration (deregulation, tax reform etc), but hastens to add that these achievements have come "despite - not because of - the president's leadership style, which is impetuous, adversarial, petty and ineffective".
He also said he had no idea who wrote the anonymous "resistance" op-ed that ran in The New York Times last Wednesday but, he noted, he would not have published it. The anonymous writer goes on to denounce Trump's "mass-marketing of the notion that the press is the 'enemy of the people, ' and says his "impulses are generally anti-trade and anti-democratic".
Almost every Cabinet member issued a statement or told reporters that they didn't pen the op-ed. There is nothing like good dialogue from two people that like each other!
"They realized that [these documents] would endanger the country", Woodward said.
White House aides were trying to root out the culprit but the most furious searching and wildest speculation was by Washington journalists. If the anonymous author has a high-level security clearance, the president emphasized, "and he goes into a high-level meeting concerning China or Russian Federation or North Korea or something, I don't want him in those meetings".
The assertions in the op-ed piece were largely in line with complaints about Trump's behavior that had repeatedly been raised by various administration officials, often speaking on condition of anonymity.
Former CIA Director John Brennan, a fierce Trump critic, called the op-ed "active insubordination. born out of loyalty to the country".
"Taking note of the ever-growing divisions in the United States that are being played out in the House, the senior official writes, "(T) he president continues to act in a manner that is detrimental to the health of our republic".
Some of Mr. Trump's inner circle also denied it when asked by reporters, including top adviser Kellyanne Conway and White House Counsel Don McGahn.
"I have a golf pro who's mentally retarded", Trump told Stern.
Trump, in fact, used the term "mentally retarded" during a 2004 appearance on "The Howard Stern Show" when discussing a conversation he had with an unnamed "golf pro" about how much he should make for hosting his NBC reality series, "The Apprentice".
"The root of the problem is the president's amorality", wrote the official.