Harrington: Anonymous NY Times Op-Ed Author Could Be One of Woodward's Sources

September 10, 2018

Washington Free Beacon senior writer Elizabeth Harrington on Monday said she would not find it surprising if one of the sources in Bob Woodward's upcoming book wrote the New York Times' anonymous op-ed about the administration's inner workings.

Harrington said the Times' decision to publish the op-ed anonymously was a risky one considering the media's credibility problem and the implications the author makes.

"The media has already lost so much credibility—by putting someone else out there, anonymous, that might not be that high up in the administration, [they're] propping up this idea that is quite, dangerous, that it is okay to work to undermine a duly elected president of the United States from inside," Harrington said.

She said the Times' loose use of the designation "senior official" creates a problem if the op-ed's author turns out to be relatively minor.

"If it turns out this guy is not even actually that senior, the New York Times said they had to do background checking into him, they used a senior official very loosely in their reporting," she said. "We don't know who this is. What does this do to the credibility of the New York Times?"

On the topic of Woodward's book, Fear: Trump in the White House, Harrington said the op-ed "fits the same narrative that his [Woodward's] book is pushing, people working to save the country from Trump."

"It's the exact same narrative with the book, with the anonymous op-ed," she said. "I wouldn't be surprised if it was one of [Woodward's] sources and he encouraged him to go public with it."

Since the anonymous op-ed was published on Sept. 5, numerous Trump officials have come out denying they wrote it. These officials include Vice President Mike Pence, adviser Kellyanne Conway, Attorney General Jeff Session, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley, and FBI Director Chris Wray.

Woodward's book is set to be published on Tuesday, and Trump has called it a work of fiction. He tweeted "The Woodward book is a scam. I don’t talk the way I am quoted. If I did I would not have been elected President. These quotes were made up. The author uses every trick in the book to demean and belittle. I wish the people could see the real facts - and our country is doing GREAT!"