Top national security figures deny writing anonymous op-ed critical of president

Following an op-ed published in the New York Times Sept. 5 by an anonymous “senior official” in the Trump administration detailing efforts to thwart the president’s “more misguided impulses,” several top national security officials have released statements denying they were behind the article.

“I am not the anonymous author of the op-ed in the NY Times. [U.S. Cyber Command] & NSA are focused on working with our interagency partners on the security of the mid-term elections and our foundational mission of ensuring the defense of the nation,” read a statement attributed to U.S. Cyber Command Commander and National Security Agency Director Gen. Paul Nakasone tweeted via the official NSA account Sept. 6.

Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats released a statement of his own the same day, which read in part, “Speculation that The New York Times op-ed was written by me or my Principal Deputy is patently false … From the beginning of our tenure, we have insisted that the entire IC remain focused on our mission to provide the President and policymakers with the best intelligence possible.”

Secretary of Defense James Mattis was much more harsh in his denial of being the anonymous author.

"The contemptuous words about the President attributed to me in Woodward’s book were never uttered by me or in my presence,” he said in a DoD statement issued Sept. 4. “While I generally enjoy reading fiction, this is a uniquely Washington brand of literature, and his anonymous sources do not lend credibility.”

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