A message from the “resistance” in the WH


The NYT today is taking the rare step of publishing an anonymous Op-Ed essay. We have done so at the request of the author, a senior official in the Trump administration whose identity is known to us & whose job would be jeopardized by its disclosure. We believe publishing this essay anonymously is the only way to deliver an important perspective to our readers. We invite you to submit a question about the essay or our vetting process here.

President Trump is facing a test to his presidency unlike any faced by a modern American leader.

It’s not just that the special counsel looms large. Or that the country is bitterly divided over Mr. Trump’s leadership. Or even that his party might well lose the House to an opposition hellbent on his downfall.

The dilemma — which he does not fully grasp — is that many of the senior officials in his own administration are working diligently from within to frustrate parts of his agenda & his worst inclinations.

I would know. I am one of them.

To be clear, ours is not the popular “resistance” of the left. We want the administration to succeed & think that many of its policies have already made America safer & more prosperous.

But we believe our first duty is to this country, & the president continues to act in a manner that is detrimental to the health of our republic.

That is why many Trump appointees have vowed to do what we can to preserve our democratic institutions while thwarting Mr. Trump’s more misguided impulses until he is out of office.

The root of the problem is the president’s amorality. Anyone who works with him knows he is not moored to any discernible first principles that guide his decision making.

Although he was elected as a Republican, the president shows little affinity for ideals long espoused by conservatives: free minds, free markets & free people. At best, he has invoked these ideals in scripted settings. At worst, he has attacked them outright.

In addition to his mass-marketing of the notion that the press is the “enemy of the people,” President Trump’s impulses are generally anti-trade & anti-democratic.

Don’t get me wrong. There are bright spots that the near-ceaseless negative coverage of the administration fails to capture: effective deregulation, historic tax reform, a more robust military & more.

But these successes have come despite — not because of — the president’s leadership style, which is impetuous, adversarial, petty & ineffective.

continued below


Continued from above

From the WH to executive branch departments & agencies, senior officials will privately admit their daily disbelief at the commander in chief’s comments & actions. Most are working to insulate their operations from his whims.

Meetings with him veer off topic & off the rails, he engages in repetitive rants, & his impulsiveness results in half-baked, ill-informed & occasionally reckless decisions that have to be walked back.

“There is literally no telling whether he might change his mind from one minute to the next,” a top official complained to me recently, exasperated by an Oval Office meeting at which the president flip-flopped on a major policy decision he’d made only a week earlier.

The erratic behavior would be more concerning if it weren’t for unsung heroes in & around the WH. Some of his aides have been cast as villains by the media. But in private, they have gone to great lengths to keep bad decisions contained to the West Wing, though they are clearly not always successful.

It may be cold comfort in this chaotic era, but Americans should know that there are adults in the room. We fully recognize what is happening. And we are trying to do what’s right even when Donald Trump won’t. The result is a two-track presidency.

Take foreign policy: In public & in private, President Trump shows a preference for autocrats & dictators, such as President Putin of Russia & N Korea’s leader, Kim Jong-un, & displays little genuine appreciation for the ties that bind us to allied, like-minded nations.

Astute observers have noted, though, that the rest of the administration is operating on another track, one where countries like Russia are called out for meddling & punished accordingly, & where allies around the world are engaged as peers rather than ridiculed as rivals.

On Russia, for instance, the president was reluctant to expel so many of Mr. Putin’s spies as punishment for the poisoning of a former Russian spy in Britain. He complained for weeks about senior staff members letting him get boxed into further confrontation with Russia, & he expressed frustration that the U.S. continued to impose sanctions on the country for its malign behavior. But his national security team knew better — such actions had to be taken, to hold Moscow accountable.

This isn’t the work of the so-called deep state. It’s the work of the steady state.
Continued below


Continued from above

Given the instability many witnessed, there were early whispers within the cabinet of invoking the 25th Amendment, which would start a complex process for removing the president. But no one wanted to precipitate a constitutional crisis. So we will do what we can to steer the administration in the right direction until — one way or another — it’s over.

The bigger concern is not what Mr. Trump has done to the presidency but rather what we as a nation have allowed him to do to us. We have sunk low with him & allowed our discourse to be stripped of civility.

Sen John McCain put it best in his farewell letter. All Americans should heed his words & break free of the tribalism trap, with the high aim of uniting through our shared values & love of this great nation.

We may no longer have Sen McCain. But we will always have his example — a lodestar for restoring honor to public life & our national dialogue. Mr. Trump may fear such honorable men, but we should revere them.

There is a quiet resistance within the administration of people choosing to put country first. But the real difference will be made by everyday citizens rising above politics, reaching across the aisle & resolving to shed the labels in favor of a single one: Americans.

The writer is a senior official in the Trump administration.


I wonder who it is.


That’s a great question, and I’m sure the guessing game has already started.


This could be another “Lanny Davis episode” that’s entirely fake. it really sounds like a fantasy put together by a committee.

But if it’s real, this person should immediately resign. Why does he/she stay on if he/she thinks Trump is so bad? The pay? The privileges? Is this person so vain that he/she thinks only he/she can save the country by thwarting Trump? Is that vanity so overwhelming that it finally burst the dam and spewed out to a NYT that could be counted on to welcome it?

As Solzhenitsyn said: “…a traitor is like a ferryman. Once he gets you where you want to go, you dont’ need him anymore…”

For this particular traitor, one hopes the perceived “need” for his/her services is short-lived indeed.


Presuming it is legitimate, is it possible that individual holds his or her loyalty first to his or her country?


The anonymous writer of the op-ed piece gave his or her reason for staying. “But we believe our first duty is to this country.”

Now, you (and even I, believe it or not) may disagree that working from within is the best thing he/she could do for his/her country, but why doubt that that’s the reason? It may (or may not) be misguided, but people have been known to do misguided things for love of country since the dawn of humanity. Or at least since we invented countries.


I don’t think so. The following is simply off the wall. Nobody could believe the many people in the cabinet, many of them successful in their own right, are sitting around talking about the 25th Amendment. They could walk off any time they wanted to and curse Trump from the rooftops, but they don’t. And who WOULDN’T precipitate a “constitutional crisis” if they were that upset. After all, that’s what Mueller is trying to do 24/7 and he sure doesn’t fear a “constitutional crisis”. He wants to create one.

No credibility. It’s fake or a deranged product.


Neither you nor I know what cabinet members are sitting around talking about.


Why not? Invoking the 25th was briefly considered by some members of Cabinet during the last years of the Reagan administration, when it was feared his faculties were compromised.


Who? No generalities. Names please.


Also during the last weeks of the Nixon administration, according to a book I read a few years back (wish I could remember the title and author). Apparently he was drinking so heavily at the end people were seriously worried.


We don’t. But we sure do know they don’t have to stay and “put up with” what they are represented as thinking intolerable. They don’t even have to start some impeachment proceeding. The Dems are going to do that anyway. They’ve already started it twice. It just didn’t take. They could walk off in a group and tell the whole country why Trump should be impeached. It would matter a lot.

But they don’t. And they don’t because it’s just one more “hate Trump” lie told by a deceptive and partisan NYT.

This particular part is just crazy. Do these people at the NYT hate Trump so much they would be willing to have a war with Russia? What do they want him to do to Russia? Sanctions? That’s already been done. Shoot some Russians in Syria? Already done too.

I have had it with these left wing neocon warmongers.


Maybe this person will give an interview to Bloomberg, and they will release his/her identity.

Probably not. As is the case with Theresa of the leftist media, integrity is a thing of the past.


Trump could start by ceasing to pretend that Putin is some sort of erst-while buddy. I think the British charges against two Russian agents over the Novichok attack tells us all we need to know about the Kremlin; that it is not a friendly power, and that where it will not behave like a good international citizen, it needs to be hemmed in and punished by any reasonable means. Trump’s apparent bromances with people like Putin and Kim Jong-un, while castigating Western allies like Trudeau and Merkel sends the wrong message.


You are a coward. You lack the courage and integrity to reveal yourself.
You are not working against the President, you are working against the people who elected him. You are working against the constitution that makes elections the law of the land.

The day will come when a Democrat is elected president. That person should be forewarned that what progressives are doing today in the “resistance” will be visited on him/her exponentially.


And there is the road we’re going down, and it’s scary. To oppose the president is to oppose the people.

We’ve seen this before, people.


its getting a lot of coverage here in Australia

the plot thickens…If there is any truth to it all I can say is

thankyou to the resistance


the entire presidency has been off the wall … Look at how trump communicates.

Off the wall is no benchmark anymore… .Trump set the new standards of communication

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.