Pence spokesman denies vice president is behind anonymous op-ed

Pence spokesman denies vice president is behind anonymous op-ed
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Vice President Pence's office denied Thursday that he was behind an anonymous op-ed in The New York Times that described efforts among staffers in the Trump administration to push back against the president's instincts.

Jarrod Agen, Pence's deputy chief of staff and communications director, tweeted that the vice president's office "is above such amateur acts."

"The Vice President puts his name on his Op-Eds. The @nytimes should be ashamed and so should the person who wrote the false, illogical, and gutless op-ed," Agen tweeted.

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Pence's denial came shortly after Secretary of State Mike PompeoMichael (Mike) Richard PompeoHeather Nauert withdraws her name from consideration for UN ambassador job The Hill's Morning Report — Presented by the American Academy of HIV Medicine — Trump, Congress prepare for new border wall fight Overnight Defense: Trump to sign funding deal, declare national emergency | Shanahan says allies will be consulted on Afghanistan | Dem demands Khashoggi documents MORE told reporters during a visit to India that he was not behind the op-ed, and ripped the anonymous author as a "disgruntled, deceptive bad actor."

"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, according to a State Department transcript of his remarks.

The White House has been roiled by the op-ed, in which an anonymous senior administration official described coordinated efforts from staff to "thwart" President TrumpDonald John TrumpMcCabe says he was fired because he 'opened a case against' Trump McCabe: Trump said 'I don't care, I believe Putin' when confronted with US intel on North Korea McCabe: Trump talked to me about his election victory during 'bizarre' job interview MORE's worst instincts.

The author, whose identity is known by top opinion editors at the Times, wrote that they are neither a member of the so-called deep state that conservatives suggest is undermining the president, nor the liberal "resistance" movement aimed at blocking Trump's agenda.

"We want the administration to succeed and think that many of its policies have already made America safer and more prosperous," they wrote. "But we believe our first duty is to this country, and the president continues to act in a manner that is detrimental to the health of our republic."

The op-ed set off immediate speculation over who the author could be. Multiple individuals on social media and on television noted that the op-ed includes the word "lodestar," and highlighted multiple instances where Pence has used the term in past speeches.

Trump and the White House have ripped The New York Times for publishing the piece. The president called on the newspaper late Wednesday to turn the author over to the government for "national security purposes." 

--This report was updated at 9:54 a.m.