Trump wants investigation into anonymous New York Times opinion piece

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Everyone, including President Donald Trump, wants to know who wrote the bombshell op-ed published by the New York Times.

US President Donald Trump on Friday urged his attorney general to investigate the anonymous author of a damning op-ed, escalating his long-running battles with both the media and leaks from the White House.

Trump believes it is "somebody in national security", Kellyanne Conway told CNN Friday.

President Donald Trump is faulting The New York Times for publishing an anonymous op-ed from a senior administration official.

"The latest act of resistance is the op-ed published in the failing New York Times by an [insert attempt to say anonymous], really an [insert second attempt], gutless coward", he said.

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Trump has repeatedly demanded that Sessions look into allegations of wrongdoing by Democrats and what he and his allies portray as an anti-Trump cabal that existed in the Justice Department and Federal Bureau of Investigation during President Barack Obama's administration. "I mean it was the weakest economic recovery since the Great Depression", Pence said. "The Times uses phony sources all the time", Trump said.

The Justice Department declined to confirm or deny an investigation.

Trump is also fuming that White House deputy chief of staff for communications Bill Shine has mishandled the messaging on the Woodward book. The president also said he was considering legal action against the newspaper for its publication of the essay, which he called a "one-way conversation".

"The has been in this fight before, and they have taken aggressive positions to protect that source relationship", said Theresa House, who specializes in First Amendment and media law for Arnold & Portner in NY, told Variety.

Asked if he trusts his White House staffers, Trump said, "I do, but what I do now is I look around the room". A slew of officials working in the administration issued statements Thursday in which they denied authoring the piece.

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The book depicts Trump aides working to head off potential foreign policy disasters, taking more measured steps after the president suggested assassinating his Syrian counterpart and stealing an order that would have cancelled the US-South Korea trade agreement.

The writer, who described themselves as a senior official in the Trump administration, added that Mr Trump's "erratic behaviour would be more concerning if it weren't for unsung heroes in and around the White House". "Our libel laws are pathetic".

The former president went on to lambaste the current state of the Republican Party.

"In March 2017, Paul said that the federal government should employ the method to ascertain who leaked the transcripts of former national security adviser Michael Flynn's conversations with the USA ambassador".

Trump says if the person had a high-level security clearance, "I don't want him in those meetings".

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