President Donald J. Trump and President Vladimir Putin of the Russian Federation hold a working lunch in Helsinki, Finland, on July 16, 2018. Photo by Shealah Craighead / White House

'I am part of the resistance': Official claims to work against Trump

The New York Times has published an anonymous opinion from someone described as a "senior official" in the Trump administration.

The official isn't being named because the person's job would be "jeopardized by its disclosure," according to the paper. But the official claims to be working against Donald Trump in order to prevent the 45th president of the United States from making decisions that threaten America's democratic institutions.

The official refutes popular theories that employees within the federal government are fighting Trump because they are Democrats, or because they disagree with Republican policies. The president himself has repeatedly advanced the idea of a "Deep State" aligned against him.

The unnamed official argues otherwise. "This isn’t the work of the so-called deep state. It’s the work of the steady state," the opinion reads.

The official instead claims to be advancing Republican ideals, accusing Trump of ignoring them and creating "instability" within his administration:
Although he was elected as a Republican, the president shows little affinity for ideals long espoused by conservatives: free minds, free markets and free people. At best, he has invoked these ideals in scripted settings. At worst, he has attacked them outright.

In addition to his mass-marketing of the notion that the press is the “enemy of the people,” President Trump’s impulses are generally anti-trade and anti-democratic.

Don’t get me wrong. There are bright spots that the near-ceaseless negative coverage of the administration fails to capture: effective deregulation, historic tax reform, a more robust military and more.

But these successes have come despite — not because of — the president’s leadership style, which is impetuous, adversarial, petty and ineffective.

From the White House to executive branch departments and agencies, senior officials will privately admit their daily disbelief at the commander in chief’s comments and actions. Most are working to insulate their operations from his whims.

Meetings with him veer off topic and off the rails, he engages in repetitive rants, and his impulsiveness results in half-baked, ill-informed and occasionally reckless decisions that have to be walked back.

“There is literally no telling whether he might change his mind from one minute to the next,” a top official complained to me recently, exasperated by an Oval Office meeting at which the president flip-flopped on a major policy decision he’d made only a week earlier.

Read More on the Story
Opinion: I Am Part of the Resistance Inside the Trump Administration (The New York Times September 5, 2018)

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