Everyone, including President Donald Trump, wants to know who wrote the bombshell op-ed published by the New York Times.
Since it was released, the op-ed has sparked a parlor guessing game about its author's identity that perhaps hasn't been seen in Washington D.C. since Joe Klein wrote Primary Colors.
By early afternoon, eight senior officials had disavowed the piece, including Vice-President Mike Pence, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Defence Secretary James Mattis, while hammering the author for writing it and the Times for publishing it.
The op-ed is only the latest suggestion that the dysfunction that's characterized the Trump administration since day one may be getting worse.
On Wednesday, the president responded to the Times op-ed with a simple tweet: "TREASON?"
Members of his administration and inner circle from the vice-president downwards have been lining up to condemn the column and deny authorship.
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Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Director of National Intelligence Daniel R. Coats also denied being the author on Thursday. Some people online also made jokes about or theorized about whether Melania Trump herself could possibly be the anonymous writer, although there is no evidence of that.
He said they are looking into action against the Times itself.
The op-ed, written by an unnamed "senior" official, described a secret inside effort to protect the country from Trump's "misguided impulses".
Senior officials in key national security and economic policy roles charged the article's writer with cowardice, disloyalty and acting against America's interests in harsh terms that mimicked the president's own words. "And we are trying to do what's right even when Donald Trump won't". "Our office is above such amateur acts", Pence spokesman Jarrod Agen said on Twitter.
White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders tried to shut down the speculation.
"She tweeted the general phone number for The New York Times and encouraged anyone curious to know the identity of the writer to call the newspaper and ask for themselves". "You can call it a lot of things", the president said in an interview with Fox & Friends host Pete Hegseth before his political rally in Montana.
It is sad more than anything else that the U.S. has come to where you have again. if it is what it's purported to be, it is sad that you have someone who would make that choice, he said.