A current senior official inside President Donald Trump’s administration revealed that cabinet members once considered removing POTUS from office by invoking the 25th Amendment and more shocking insight in an anonymous New York Times op-ed on Wednesday.
The official wrote that staffers, however, wanted to avoid 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 official, who was referred to by “he” by the Times on Twitter, went on.
The official detailed the work he and his colleagues did to “thwart parts of his agenda and his worst inclinations.” This op-ed comes a day after shocking details were revealed from journalist Bob Woodward’s forthcoming book, describing the administration as a “nervous breakdown of the executive branch.”
The official said the root of the President’s problems stems from his “amorality” and said he is a Republican in name only.
“Anyone who works with him knows he is not moored to any discernible first principles that guide his decision making,” he wrote. “The president shows little affinity for ideals long espoused by conservatives: free minds, free markets and free people. At best, he has invoked these ideals in scripted settings. At worst, he has attacked them outright.”
Even when the administration succeeds, by the official’s standards, with a more robust military and historic tax reform, be believes it is “despite — not because of” the President. He goes on to criticize Trump’s leadership style, which consists of off-topic rants and reckless decisions.
“There is literally no telling whether he might change his mind from one minute to the next,” the official said his colleague once said. The colleague was complaining about an Oval Office meeting at which the President flip-flopped on a major policy decision he had made only a week before.
He wrote it was a “daily” occurrence for senior officials to express their disbelief at the president’s behavior, and “most are working to insulate their operations from his whims.” This echoes what former chief economic adviser Gary Cohn recounted to Woodward, saying that he used to take letters off Trump’s desk to prevent him from rashly pulling out of important international agreements.
When it comes to foreign policy, the official also condemned Trump’s preference for “autocrats” like Russian President Vladimir Putin. While the rest of the administration wants to call out countries like Russia for meddling, the president was reluctant to expel so many of Putin’s spies as punishment for the poisoning of a former Russian spy in Britain. He also complained about the U.S. imposing sanctions on Moscow, according to the op-ed, and didn’t want to engage in further confrontation with the country.
The official said as a country, America has allowed Trump to dishonor the presidency and “we have sunk low with him and allowed our discourse to be stripped of civility.”
To make a return to decent politics, the nation should ignore Trump’s “tribalism trap” of extreme partisanship and media bashing, he wrote, and instead should heed late Sen. John McCain’s advice to rise above politics and put country first.
“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 and resolving to shed the labels in favor of a single one: Americans,” he concluded.