Trump carried handwritten list of suspected leakers: report

President TrumpDonald John TrumpWhere do we go from here? Conservation can show the way Gov. Ron DeSantis more popular in Florida than Trump Sotomayor accuses Supreme Court of bias in favor of Trump administration MORE has grown increasingly paranoid about individuals within his administration trying to undermine him and carried a handwritten list of suspected leakers for some time last year, Axios reported Thursday.

Officials told the news outlet that they agreed with the sentiments expressed by an anonymous senior administration official who blasted Trump in an op-ed in The New York Times and described an effort among some staffers to push back against the president's impulses.

Axios reported that Trump has become "deeply suspicious" of administration officials, including some of his own political appointees, and occasionally asks staffers what they think about their colleagues.


The president carried the handwritten list of potential leakers, and would describe the need to get rid of "snakes" within the administration, a source told Axios.

Trump's concerns over efforts to undermine his presidency are likely to intensify in the wake of Wednesday's op-ed, in which the author rips Trump's "amorality" and props up the work of "unsung heroes" who steer the country.

"We want the administration to succeed and think that many of its policies have already made America safer and more prosperous," the official 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 author's identity is known by top opinion editors at the Times, but was not disclosed. The extraordinary decision sparked furious speculation over who the author could be.

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