‘Incredibly Disturbing’: Pompeo Blasts New York Times, Anonymous Official

Andrew Harnik/Pool via REUTERS

Saagar Enjeti White House Correspondent
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Secretary of State Mike Pompeo harshly criticized the New York Times and an anonymous official who disparaged President Donald Trump in its op-ed pages during a press availability in Delhi.

“It shouldn’t surprise anyone that The New York Times, a liberal newspaper that has attacked this administration relentlessly, chose to print such a piece,” he said opening his statement, adding, “They should not well have chosen to take a disgruntled, deceptive, bad actor’s word for anything and put it in their newspaper.”

The secretary continued, “I come from a place where, if you’re not in a position to execute the commander’s intent, you have a singular option: It is to leave. And this person — and said, according to The New York Times – chose not only to stay but to undermine what President Trump and this administration are trying to do.”

“I ought to tell you, just … I find – I find the media’s efforts in this regard to undermining this administration incredibly disturbing,” Pompeo concluded.

“It may be cold comfort in this chaotic era, but Americans should know that there are adults in the room,” the anonymous official said. “We fully recognize what is happening. And we are trying to do what’s right even when Donald Trump won’t.”

The official described a cabal of administration officials actively circumventing the president’s daily desires. The op-ed comes just as excerpts from Bob Woodward’s new book on the administration have are being released showing a similar culture of senior aides who do not think highly of the president and work to temper his behavior.

Trump later tweeted a demand to The New York Times to release the source and White House press secretary Sarah Sanders released a scathing statement saying, “Nearly 62 million people voted for President Donald J. Trump in 2016, earning him 306 Electoral College votes — versus 232 for his opponent. None of them voted for a gutless, anonymous source to the failing New York Times.”

Sarah Sanders called for the anonymous writer’s resignation, saying, “The individual behind this piece has chosen to deceive, rather than support, the duly elected President of the United States. He is not putting country first, but putting himself and his ego ahead of the will of the American people. This coward should do the right thing and resign.”