NYT op-ed author is a 'coward,' House Majority Leader McCarthy says

House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy on Sunday called the unknown author of an op-ed published in The New York Times a “coward,” for their essay about resistance within the Trump administration.

“If you ever wondered ‘is there a deep state, is there somebody high in government that will hide behind media to work against the voters of America to create a constitutional crisis,’ it’s proven today that it is,” McCarthy, R-Calif., told Maria Bartiromo on “Sunday Morning Futures.”

The author – described by the Times as a senior official in the Trump administration – wrote in the essay that while they and other members of the “resistance” within the Trump camp want to see success from the president and are not part of the same “resistance” of the left, their “first duty is to this country” and that “the president continues to act in a manner that is detrimental to the health of our republic.”

“That is why many Trump appointees have vowed to do what we can to preserve our democratic institutions while thwarting Mr. Trump’s more misguided impulses until he is out of office,” the author wrote.

McCarthy, responding to the essay in a letter of his own to the editor of the Times, said the official who penned the op-ed should be “exposed and fired,” and added that they should resign from working in the government if they believed Trump to be such a concerning threat.

“If he really cared about defending the Constitution, he would work within the Constitution’s framework instead of undermining the chief executive,” McCarthy wrote, noting in the letter that he used the term “he” to describe the mystery author for simplicity’s sake and that he does not know the gender of the writer.

Speaking to reporters aboard Air Force One on Friday, Trump said he thinks Attorney General Jeff Sessions should investigate who wrote the op-ed, saying it was a “national security” issue, and that the administration will look at possibly taking action against the Times for publishing the piece.

“It is a national security issue cause this person openly works with media, openly says he works against this president and this administration, which is working against the voters,” McCarthy said. “Who knows what he or she is leaking or moving through. That’s why this person is a coward.”

Sen. Lindsey Graham, also speaking to Bartiromo on Sunday, said he believes the Times published the essay because the investigation into alleged collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia in the 2016 election is “falling apart.”

“I think The New York Times is trying to start a new narrative by publishing an op-ed piece from an anonymous source to suggest the president is unhinged,” the South Carolina Republican said. “This is an effort on their part, in my view, to start a new storyline because the Russia probe storyline is falling apart.”