Political Notebook

Anonymous author of Trump ‘resistance’ op-ed to publish a tell-all book

The New York Times op-ed column described President Trump’s leadership style as ‘‘impetuous, adversarial, petty, and ineffective.’’
The New York Times op-ed column described President Trump’s leadership style as ‘‘impetuous, adversarial, petty, and ineffective.’’ ANGELA WEISS/AFP/Getty Images/File 2018/AFP/Getty Images

The author of an anonymous column in The New York Times in 2018, who was identified as a senior Trump administration official acting as part of the ‘‘resistance’’ inside the government, has written a tell-all book to be published next month.

The book, titled ‘‘A Warning,’’ is being promoted as ‘‘an unprecedented behind-the-scenes portrait of the Trump presidency’’ that expands upon the Times column, which ricocheted around the world and stoked the president’s rage because of its devastating portrayal of Donald Trump in office.

The column described Trump’s leadership style as ‘‘impetuous, adversarial, petty, and ineffective,’’ and noted that ‘‘his impulsiveness results in half-baked, ill-informed, and occasionally reckless decisions that have to be walked back.’’


The author of the column, which was titled ‘‘I Am Part of the Resistance Inside the Trump Administration’’ and was published Sept. 5, 2018, was known to the Times but identified by the Times only as a senior official in the Trump administration. The person has not been publicly identified.

Trump lashed out at the anonymous author after the column’s publication. The president questioned both whether the author existed and whether the author had committed treason. He also demanded on Twitter that the Times turn over ‘‘the GUTLESS anonymous person’’ to the government ‘‘at once.’’ The Times did not.

The forthcoming book will list the author as ‘‘Anonymous.’’ Although the person does not reveal their identity in the book, they will discuss the reasons for their anonymity, according to people involved in the project.

‘‘Picking up from where those first words of warning left off, this explosive book offers a shocking, firsthand account of President Trump and his record,’’ reads a statement about the book’s release.

The book will be published on Nov. 19 by Twelve, an imprint of Grand Central Publishing/Hachette Book Group. It comes at a treacherous period for Trump, as the House continues its fast-moving impeachment inquiry into the president’s alleged abuse of power.


There is no modern historical parallel for a firsthand account of a sitting president written in book form by an anonymous author. Many senior government officials, including some who served in the Trump administration, have written books under their own names. Many more have shared information with journalists on the condition of anonymity, perhaps most famously the official known as Deep Throat who was a key source for Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein’s reporting in The Washington Post on the Watergate scandal.

The 1996 publication of ‘‘Primary Colors: A Novel of Politics’’ caused a sensation in part because of the anonymity of its author, who was later revealed to be columnist Joe Klein. The book was a work of fiction, although its characters and events mirrored Bill Clinton’s 1992 presidential campaign.

The anonymous author of ‘‘A Warning’’ did not take an advance and intends to donate some of the royalties to nonprofit organizations that focus on government accountability and supporting truth-tellers in repressive countries, including the White House Correspondents’ Association, said literary agent Matt Latimer, who represented the author along with Keith Urbahn.

Latimer and Urbahn represented fired FBI director James Comey and former White House aide Cliff Sims for their memoirs from their time in the Trump administration.

Washington Post

GOP senator criticized for posting debunked image

MINNEAPOLIS — Representative Ilhan Omar has condemned a Republican state senator from North Dakota who posted a long-debunked photo on his Facebook page that purports to show the Minnesota Democrat holding a weapon at an Al Qaeda training camp.


Omar, a naturalized US citizen who was born in Somalia and is one of the first Muslim women elected to Congress, blasted state Senator Oley Larsen’s post, which also led to calls Tuesday from the Senate’s top Republican and GOP Governor Doug Burgum to apologize and relinquish a state Senate leadership position.

‘‘This is pure propaganda designed to stir up hate and violence,’’ Omar tweeted Monday night. ‘‘. . . Facebook’s unwillingness to crack down on hate speech and misinformation is not just threatening my life, but our democracy.’’

The image Larsen posted has been debunked by several sources since it appeared on social media this summer. It’s an Associated Press photo taken of a female Somali army recruit at a Mogadishu military training campus in 1978, four years before Omar was born in 1982.

In the comments accompanying his post, Larsen also called Omar an ‘‘elected terrorist’’ and asked his followers to ‘‘share it everywhere.’’

Facing mounting criticism, though, Larsen removed the photo Monday. And by Tuesday morning, his Facebook feed — minus the image — was full of attacks on him for posting it and accusing him of bigotry.

On Tuesday, the North Dakota Senate’s majority leader, Republican Rich Wardner, called on Larsen to apologize and give up his position as the state Senate’s president pro tempore, a post in which he presides over sessions when the lieutenant governor is absent.


‘‘At this point, I’m not calling for his resignation from the Senate, but if he continues with this, I will have to rethink that,’’ Wardner said.

Associated Press

Esper recuses himself over son’s work with bidder

Defense Secretary Mark Esper has recused himself from a high-profile review of the Pentagon’s controversial JEDI cloud computing infrastructure because his son is employed with one of the contract’s initial bidders, a Defense Department spokesman said Tuesday.

Moving forward the review is to be handled by deputy defense secretary David Norquist ‘‘out of an abundance of caution,’’ Defense spokesman Jonathan Hoffman said in statement e-mailed to reporters.

‘‘Although not legally required to, [Esper] has removed himself from participating in any decision making following the information meetings, due to his adult son’s employment with one of the original contract applicants,’’ he wrote.

The statement did not say which company Esper’s son works for, how that information came to the Secretary’s attention, or why he didn’t recuse himself earlier.

It is the latest conflict of interest allegation to present problems for the JEDI contract, which seeks to centralize the military’s computing infrastructure in the hands of a tech company, allowing US military agencies to harness the most advanced innovations Silicon Valley has to offer.

Amazon and Microsoft are the only companies eligible to win the massive award, after Oracle and IBM were cut from the competition. Amazon is widely seen as a front-runner.

Washington Post