NY Times op-ed editor describes process behind publishing anonymous Trump official's op-ed

NY Times op-ed editor describes process behind publishing anonymous Trump official's op-ed
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The New York Times op-ed page editor Jim Dao on Wednesday described the process behind publishing a bombshell op-ed from an anonymous senior administration official, telling CNN that the official contacted him “through an intermediary.”

Dao said the Times also spoke directly with the individual but there are only a "very small number of people within the Times who know this person's identity.”

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The op-ed, published Wednesday afternoon, reveals coordinated efforts among Trump administration staff to counter President TrumpDonald John TrumpGrassley: Dems 'withheld information' on new Kavanaugh allegation Health advocates decry funding transfer over migrant children Groups plan mass walkout in support of Kavanaugh accuser MORE.

The Times described the anonymous author in a note as "a senior official in the Trump administration whose identity is known to us and whose job would be jeopardized by its disclosure."

The senior administration official that purportedly wrote it criticized Trump for his "amorality" and wrote that while officials “want the administration to succeed,” they have had to work against Trump’s “misguided impulses” and parts of his agenda. 

Dao said the official reached out “several days ago” but didn’t reveal identifying details to CNN. Dao did not provide the person’s gender, although the author was described in a New York Times tweet as a “he” earlier Wednesday.

He added that the newspaper has “taken a number of special precautions to protect the person's identity” but wouldn’t be more specific, CNN reported.  

"We were simply trying to abide by the standard that the Times in general would use when referring to someone who's not named," he told CNN. 

Trump and the White House on Wednesday blasted the editorial, with the president calling it “gutless” and the White House press secretary calling on the anonymous official to resign.

"Does the so-called 'Senior Administration Official' really exist, or is it just the Failing New York Times with another phony source?" Trump tweeted Wednesday evening. "If the GUTLESS anonymous person does indeed exist, the Times must, for National Security purposes, turn him/her over to government at once!"