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"Anonymous" op-ed author pledges to reveal identity

"Anonymous" answers questions on Reddit

The anonymous author who wrote a book and op-ed allegedly documenting the inner workings of the White House said Tuesday that he or she plans to reveal their identity. Anonymous — who has so far been identified only as "a senior official in the Trump administration" — did not specify a timeline for coming forward, but pledged that "Donald Trump has not heard the last of me."

"As far as anonymity is concerned, I will not keep my identity shrouded in secrecy forever," Anonymous wrote Tuesday on Reddit. "I am not afraid to use my own name to express concern about the current occupant of the Oval Office. Donald Trump has not heard the last of me."

Anonymous made the comments during an AMA, or "Ask Me Anything" on Reddit, where users can pose questions to public figures. Moderators of the AMA acknowledged that "we can't verify by our usual standards that the [original poster] here is really Anonymous," but said that "the publishers of his book assure us it's the same guy and we have no reason not to believe them."

The writer defended the decision to stay anonymous during the AMA, writing that "anonymity has a long tradition in American politics, as far back as the birth of our Republic."

"When debating whether or not to ratify the new Constitution, for instance, the Founding Fathers wrote public essays about the controversial subject and disguised their names under pseudonyms. They hid their identities, not because they were scared to debate the issue openly, but because they wanted the public to focus on the message and not the messenger," Anonymous added.

"I'm not Alexander Hamilton or James Madison by any stretch, but I don't believe they were cowards for using anonymity as a tool to refocus the debate," they said. "Trump thrives on distractions, and anonymity is a way to deprive him of his favorite weapon of mass distraction — personal attacks — and force the discussion to center on the substance, his character."

Reince Priebus says "A Warning" by Anonymous is "out-of-touch"

Anonymous first entered the national spotlight September 5, 2018, by publishing a New York Times op-ed titled "I Am Part of  the Resistance Inside the Trump Administration." The op-ed detailed the "quiet resistance" to Mr. Trump from his own staff, who were allegedly "working diligently" behind the scenes to temper his "worst inclinations."

But during the AMA, the writer said that the argument behind the op-ed has been "thoroughly debunked."

"In the New York Times op-ed, I suggested that the 'Steady State' of top officials in the Administration could ameliorate Donald Trump's lapses in judgment," Anonymous wrote. "I was dead wrong. No one can thwart his attraction to wrongdoing."

The author expanded on the original claims in the book that was released last week. In "A Warning," the author claimed that senior administration officials considered resigning en masse last year in a "midnight self-massacre" to "call attention to Trump's misconduct and erratic leadership," and that leading GOP officials would "dump" Mr. Trump if a strong Republican candidate emerged for 2020.

The White House has consistently attacked Anonymous. After the op-ed was published, Mr. Trump slammed it and The New York Times, and later tweeted, "TREASON?" When "A Warning" was released, White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham called it "a work of fiction."

"The coward who wrote this book didn't put their name on it because it is nothing but lies," she said.

CBS News has not independently confirmed the writer's identity or the claims made in the book. It's not clear whether the author still works in the administration — although some of the comments in the AMA suggest that they do.

And while Anonymous didn't give away his or her identity, the writer did offer one piece of information: When asked who would prevail in the annual Army-Navy football game, Anonymous sided with the Navy.

"A clue!" one Reddit user commented.

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