Drama around Washington has been swirling in the last day after an anonymous White House insider wrote a jaw-dropping op-ed piece published on Wednesday, Sept. 5. The article provided incredible accounts of life inside the administration of President Donald Trump. Now, the first lady has publicly given her two cents on the piece. On Thursday, Sept. 6, Melania Trump responded to The New York Times op-ed.
CNN's Kate Bennett, in a tweet on Thursday, said she'd asked the first lady about the piece. Her response, per Bennett, was as follows:
Freedom of speech is an important pillar of our nation's founding principles and a free press is important to our democracy. The press should be fair, unbiased and responsible.
In the op-ed, an unnamed official who self-proclaims to "work for the president" describes an internal "resistance" to Trump whereby a cohort of his staffers are actively working to combat his haphazard politics.
The first lady addressed the anonymity aspect in her response to CNN, saying,
Unidentified sources have become the majority of the voices people hear about in today's news. People with no names are writing our nation's history. Words are important, and accusations can lead to severe consequences. If a person is bold enough to accuse people of negative actions, they have a responsibility to publicly stand by their words and people have a right to be able to defend themselves.
In the op-ed, the anonymous staffer writes that "many of the senior officials in his own administration are working diligently from within to frustrate parts of his agenda and his worst inclinations." Not to be confused with the "Resistance" associated with left-wing activists, they add, "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." As such, the group of staffers has reportedly been working to thwart Trump's agenda.
Responding to Wednesday's op-ed, the president himself reportedly lashed out at his staff on Wednesday, according to the Times, and on Twitter called the piece "gutless."
"We have somebody in what I call the failing New York Times that's talking about he's part of the resistance inside the Trump administration," Trump told reporters at the White House Wednesday. "This is what we have to deal with. And you know the dishonest media ... But it's really a disgrace."
White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders made clear how she felt in a statement of her own, saying, "This coward should do the right thing and resign."
The first lady's response to her husband's internal West Wing drama is a rarity from an otherwise reserved public figure. Her remarks come a day after a bombshell book by journalist Bob Woodward, Fear: Trump In The White House, was released on Sept. 5. This follows on the heels of another high-profile tell-all book written by Trump's former staffer Omarosa Manigault Newman, which dominated headlines last month for the shocking claims she made about the president.
As for Wednesday's op-ed, there's a growing list of administration officials who have publicly denied authoring the Times piece, but the identity remains unknown.