'The snakes are everywhere': Trump keeps list of suspected White House leakers

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Writing anonymously for the New York Times, they claim 'many of the senior officials in his own administration are working diligently from within to frustrate parts of his agenda and his worst inclinations'.

Trump called the piece a "gutless editorial" and referred to the Times as a "failing" outlet. The writer adds that Trump aides are aware of the president' faults and are working in opposition to "do what's right even when Donald Trump won't". And they were published a day after the release of details from an explosive new book by longtime journalist Bob Woodward that laid bare concerns among the highest echelon of Trump aides about the president's judgment. The excerpts said aides sometimes tried to limit what they saw as damaging behaviour by disregarding his instructions.

Not everyone is calling for the anonymous author to come forward, however: At least one pundit claims to already know who penned the troubling opinion piece.

Sanders said The Times should apologize.

Jodi Kantor, an investigative reporter with the New York Times, tweeted: 'So basically: Times reporters now must try to unearth the identity of an author that our colleagues in Opinion have sworn to protect with anonymity? Vice President Mike Pence's office said it was "above such amateur acts". "The @nytimes should be ashamed and so should the person who wrote the false, illogical, and gutless op-ed", Agen wrote on Twitter.

"We're doing this in order to prevent World War III", Defense Secretary Jim Mattis reportedly replied thinly.

Asked whether internal dissent in the White House concerned him, Graham, who has recently become one of Trump's most vocal supporters, said: "I don't know how deep it is".

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Dowd, who stepped down in January, resigned after the mock interview , the book says. "They don't tell me", Trump replied. Sessions has been a target of the president's wrath since recusing himself from the Russian Federation investigation.

Trump had arrived in the state to campaign on behalf of Republican candidates amid an intensifying battle for control of Congress ahead of the November midterm elections. The vote will be widely seen as a referendum on Trump.

Staff actively worked to insulate themselves from Trump's "impetuous, adversarial, petty and ineffective" leadership style, the writer said. "When Donald Trump says something he expects others to believe it is reality even if it is completely fabricated".

How has the White House responded?

Some of the language in the article, including the use of the unusual word "lodestar", was the subject of wide online speculation and language searches.

"When he was super frustrated about the leaks, he would rail about the "snakes" in the White House", said the source.

Nancy Ancrum, the editorial board editor at the Miami Herald, said she only remembers one instance in which her paper ran an anonymous piece: about 15 years ago, the Herald published a letter from an unnamed woman who had been sexually assaulted as a child. He told CNN he had spoken directly with its author, but did not elaborate. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin's spokesman, Tony Sayegh, said on Twitter it was "laughable to think this could come from the secretary". He said the author is "failing" and "probably here for all the wrong reasons".

The writer adds: "This isn't the work of the so-called deep state. This is just another example of the liberal media's concerted effort to discredit the President", White House Press Secretary Sanders said. He tweeted, "I'm draining the Swamp, and the Swamp is trying to fight back".