Readers React: Readers can’t anonymously slam Trump, so why can a ‘senior administration official’?

President Trump reads from an article praising his administration after the New York Times published an anonymous op-ed on Sept. 6.
(Nicholas Kamm / AFP/Getty Images)

Letter writers to the Los Angeles Times know they cannot get away with sharing their opinions but not their names (and, of course, their cities of residence). I’ve had to explain the rules of disclosure to readers uneasy about putting their ideas and identities into public discourse more times than I can count.

So it isn’t surprising that the vast majority of our letter writers, many of whom likely consider themselves part of the “resistance” to President Trump, are unimpressed by the senior administration official who wrote anonymously in the New York Times of the “resistance inside the Trump administration.”

We’ve already published a handful of letters about the op-ed; most of them agreed with the writer’s character assessment of Trump but strongly questioned his or her motives. That opinion — that the op-ed was a self-serving apologia for high-level staffers in the administration, evidenced by the writer’s anonymity — was shared by most of the few dozen readers who sent us letters on the topic.

Francis X. Fashing of Palm Desert wants the Republicans in power to “grow a spine”:


I have mixed feelings about the anonymous op-ed. I expect senior officials to be openly able to confront the president, but to thwart his decisions by subterfuge is as anti-American as voter suppression, gerrymandering and colluding with foreign adversaries.

If members of Trump’s Cabinet are pursuing an agenda contrary to the president’s — something that cannot be denied considering how often his proclamations have been walked back or outright rejected by those around him — there are constitutional remedies.

When is the GOP going to grow a spine and put country above party?

Laurie Jacobs of San Clemente prefers an electoral remedy:


The anonymous administration official identifies as a member of the resistance inside the White House, a group of highly placed staff who are working to thwart Trump’s most dangerous impulses. These people see themselves as heroes, but they are no such thing.

They know this country is threatened by an erratic and ill-informed president, and yet they try to work around Trump’s dangerous behavior in an effort to keep the administration running and the Republican Party in power. They want us to appreciate the administration’s “accomplishments” and trust them to keep us safe.

The officials who keep a dangerous president in power for the sake of their party are betraying the American people. The only solution is to vote the Republicans out of office.

Michael D. Leventhal of Rancho Mirage checks in on the aftermath:


It appears that members of the White House staff are, in an obvious attempt to appease their leader and save their jobs, now rushing like lemmings to the cliffs to declare, “I am not Spartacus.”

P.S.: I’m not anonymous.

Carolyn Adamick of Valencia repeats Trump’s “gutless” remark:

I think it is truly scary that gutless Republicans can’t confront and openly defy Trump. They all know he is unfit for office and needs to be removed, the sooner the better.


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