"You are not protecting this country, you are sabotaging it with your cowardly actions," the first lady says in statement bashing op-ed titled "I Am Part of the Resistance Inside the Trump Administration."
Melania Trump thinks the anonymous senior official who spoke out against President Donald Trump through that stunning New York Times op-ed is a coward.
The first lady responded on Thursday with an official statement obtained by CNN reporter Kate Bennett.
"Freedom of speech is an important pillar of our nation’s founding principles and a free press is important to our democracy. The press should be fair, unbiased and responsible," she said. "Unidentified sources have become the majority of the voices people hear about in today’s news. People with no names are writing our nation’s history. Words are important, and accusations can lead to severe consequences."
"If a person is bold enough to accuse people of negative actions, they have a responsibility to publicly stand by their words and people have the right to be able to defend themselves," the statement continued. "To the writer of the oped -- you are not protecting this country, you are sabotaging it with your cowardly actions."
Her response is in line with President Trump's, who has been calling for the "failing" New York Times to reveal the identity of the author for "national security purposes," even suggesting it's "treason."
Does the so-called “Senior Administration Official” really exist, or is it just the Failing New York Times with another phony source? If the GUTLESS anonymous person does indeed exist, the Times must, for National Security purposes, turn him/her over to government at once!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 5, 2018
TREASON?— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 5, 2018
The president responded in person on Wednesday shortly after the op-ed was published.
"If the failing New York Times has an anonymous editorial -- can you believe it? Anonymous, meaning gutless, a gutless editorial -- we’re doing a great job," he said. "The poll numbers are through the roof, our poll numbers are great. And guess what? No one is going to come close to beating me in 2020."
Trump is no stranger to bad press at this point -- you may have even heard him complain about it from time to time -- but he's really got his hands full this week, as the op-ed declaring an active "resistance" within his ranks came just days after very unflattering excerpts were released from Pulitzer Prize winner Bob Woodward's upcoming book "Fear: Trump in the White House," spurring President Trump to call for stricter libel laws on Wednesday.
Isn’t it a shame that someone can write an article or book, totally make up stories and form a picture of a person that is literally the exact opposite of the fact, and get away with it without retribution or cost. Don’t know why Washington politicians don’t change libel laws?— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 5, 2018
The jaw-dropping op-ed -- rare not only because it's a high-ranking White House official bashing the president of the United States so publicly, but also because the New York Times does not often publish anonymous editorials -- shocked Hollywood and beyond after it was published, with many even joking that Melania could have been the author.
Comedian Patton Oswalt joked, "Interesting Op-Ed from a source inside the White House who only identifies themselves by the pseudonym 'Mel A. Nia.'"
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