WASHINGTON — White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said Monday that the Justice Department should look into potential legal concerns surrounding an anonymous New York Times op-ed penned by a senior administration official.
“If that individual is in meetings where national security is being discussed and they are attempting to undermine the executive branch, that would certainly be problematic and something that the Department of Justice should look into,” Sanders said.
When pressed on what laws may have been broken, Sanders demurred, adding that the Justice Department should look and make that determination.
Sanders’ comments, which came in the first White House Press Briefing in over two weeks, echoed President Donald Trump’s repeated claims that the op-ed posed national security concerns.
On Wednesday, the New York Times took the rare step in releasing an op-ed from an unnamed official that detailed a quiet resistance from those serving in the Trump administration aimed at combatting the president’s more controversial proposals.
The author also stated that senior staff had discussed the possibility of invoking the 25th amendment as part of a complicated legal maneuver to remove Trump from office. However, the possibility was ultimately abandoned out of concern that it could create a constitutional crisis.
While Trump initially said that the New York Times must reveal the identity of the writer, Sanders pushed back against suggestions that the administration is consumed with finding the source.
“It’s frankly sad and pathetic that a gutless, anonymous source could receive so much attention from the media,” Sanders said.