Yesterday the New York Times published an op-ed from an official in the Trump administration who basically said that the only reason they’re staying in the White House is to prevent Donald Trump from screwing up the country. They said they’ve been secretly preventing the president from accomplishing parts of his agenda for the better of the country.
The New York Times did not identify who wrote the op-ed, and simply identified the author as “a senior official in the Trump administration.” This explosive article has obviously prompted tons of speculation over who could possibly have written the op-ed.
Here are the 10 most likely candidates:
1. Mike Pence
Vice President Mike Pence is one of the frontrunners in the debate about who wrote the op-ed, mostly due to the unusual word “lodestar” being used in the article. Pence has been documented saying the word, which isn’t very common, multiple times over the years.
2. John Kelly
Trump’s Chief-of-Staff John Kelly is another popular frontrunner. Kelly and Trump reportedly have butted heads multiple times, and there have been reports that Kelly has only kept the job to prevent Trump from doing something stupid, which is exactly what the person in the op-ed said as well.
3. James Mattis
Mattis seems to be one of the few members of Trump’s cabinet who hasn’t been criticized by the president. But a new book coming from Bob Woodward quotes Mattis as insulting the president’s intelligence on multiple occasions. Again, pretty similar to what the person in the op-ed said as well.
4. Larry Kudlow
A boring candidate is Larry Kudlow, Trump’s Director of the National Economic Council. Some have pointed out that in the op-ed, the words “anti-trade” were mentioned and felt out of place, which might be explained if a pro-trade member of Trump’s administration wrote it.
5. Jeff Sessions
Trump has berated Sessions publicly and privately since taking office, and many have wondered why the Attorney General hasn’t resigned. Perhaps this op-ed, if written by Sessions, could be seen as a justification for why he’s stayed in the position.
6. Jared Kushner and/or Ivanka Trump
Put this in the unlikely category, but Kushner and Ivanka both don’t really seem to have real positions in the White House, so perhaps the only reason they’re staying on is to prevent Trump from doing stupid. However it’s hard to believe that Ivanka would say these things about her own father, even if her father is Donald Trump.
7. Kirstjen Nielsen
The head of the Department of Homeland Security, Nielsen was reportedly the target of a Trump attack at a cabinet meeting over immigration. Perhaps Nielsen’s striking back at the president with the op-ed.
8. Steven Mnuchin
Mnuchin is Trump’s Secretary of the Treasury, which would also explain the reference to anti-trade. The theory says that Mnuchin is using the op-ed as a way to get back into the good graces of people in his New York City social circle when he leaves office.
9. Nikki Haley
Trump’s ambassador to the United Nations, Haley has often been considered a future presidential candidate for the Republican Party. Perhaps she’s using this op-ed as a way to make herself seem more electable in the future.
10. Literally Anyone
The craziest thing about the op-ed is not really what it says, but literally that anyone who works in the Trump administration could’ve written it. The administration is so poorly run and everyone involved is so deeply unqualified for their position that it won’t be a surprise if it’s revealed who wrote it. Melania Trump could be revealed as the op-ed writer and most Americans would be like, “Yeah, that makes sense.”
How is this man still in office?!