White House press secretary Sarah Sanders called the decision a "new low" for the Times, saying the newspaper should apologize and the writer resign.
The op-ed from the anonymous author - an extremely rare tactic for the publication - describes a senior White House staff actively working to protect the United States from its own president's "erratic behavior" and his "worst inclinations", has thrown the administration into even greater tumult - and drawn cries of "TREASON" from Trump.
An anonymous "senior official in the Trump administration" is claiming to be part of a network of appointees and others who are working to thwart President Donald Trump from inside his own White House. Trump, the essay contends, has no discernible principles that guide him in his decision-making process.More news: Florida mother admitted hitting toddler, leaving him in woods
"The dilemma - which he does not fully grasp - is that numerous senior officials in his own administration are working diligently from within to frustrate parts of his agenda and his worst inclinations", the official writes.
"We fully recognize what is happening", the anonymous author said.
"We believe publishing this essay anonymously is the only way to deliver an important perspective to our readers", it wrote.
However, the official said, "these successes have come despite - not because of - the president's leadership style, which is impetuous, adversarial, petty and ineffective". The individual says that, rather than allow Trump to be removed under the 25th Amendment, those around him instead work to counter him and direct policy behind his back.
Trump, in fact, used the term "mentally retarded" during a 2004 appearance on "The Howard Stern Show" when discussing a conversation he had with an unnamed "golf pro" about how much he should make for hosting his NBC reality series, "The Apprentice".More news: JD.com CEO was arrested on allegation of rape: U.S. police report
In the Woodward book, Mattis allegedly said that Trump had the understanding of world and national security affairs of a "fifth or sixth-grader".
Yes, this is likely more the result of the "senior administration official" keeping his/her job and avoiding the crush that would land on him/her if the op-ed had a byline. There is a quiet resistance within the administration of people choosing to put country first.
Jacobs said the writer's effort to say staff members are essentially saving the president from himself isn't necessarily comforting to voters.
An anonymous Trump administration official would like you to know that they are what's standing between you at the apocalypse.More news: Elon Musk Is Now Calling a Cave Rescuer a 'Child Rapist'
President Trump is facing a test to his presidency unlike any faced by a modern USA leader, claimed the writer, who The New York Times, in a tweet, identified as a he. Woodward's book has been anticipated for weeks, and current and former White House officials estimate that almost all their colleagues cooperated with the famed Watergate journalist.