A senior administration official has sounded an alarm about President Donald Trump’s “amorality” and “impetuous” leadership style in an unsigned opinion piece published in The New York Times.
Mr Trump swiftly responded to the op-ed on Wednesday, calling it a “gutless editorial” and “really a disgrace”.
The writer, claiming to be part of the “resistance” to Mr Trump but not from the left, said: “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 newspaper described the author of the anonymous column as “a senior official in the Trump administration”.
The publication of the op-ed immediately triggered a wild guessing game as to the author’s identity on social media, in newsrooms and inside the West Wing where officials were blindsided by it.
It was not immediately clear what, if any, steps were being taken by the White House to attempt to unmask the writer.
The column was released a day after the release of details from an explosive new book by longtime journalist Bob Woodward that raises concerns among the highest echelon of Trump aides about the president’s judgment.
The op-ed writer said Mr Trump aides are aware of the president’s faults and “are trying to do what’s right even when Donald Trump won’t”.
The writer also alleged “there were early whispers within the cabinet of invoking the 25th Amendment” because of the “instability” witnessed in the president.
The 25th Amendment allows the vice president to take over if the commander in chief is “unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office”.
The writer adds: “This isn’t the work of the so-called deep state. It’s the work of the steady state.”
Mr Trump lashed out at the newspaper for publishing the op-ed during an event with sheriffs at the White House on Wednesday afternoon.
“They don’t like Donald Trump and I don’t like them,” he said of the New York Times.
White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders called the author a “coward” who should “do the right thing and resign”.
She added the individual has chosen to “deceive, rather than support, the duly elected President of the United States” and accused them of putting himself or herself ahead of the will of the American people.