Nancy Pelosi Guessed Mike Pence Was Anonymous Anti-Trump Op-Ed Writer: "That Was My First Thought"

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said her first guess as to who is behind the anonymously published New York Times op-ed that delivers a scathing portrayal of President Donald Trump was Vice President Mike Pence.

"That was my first thought," Pelosi told reporters on Capitol Hill Thursday morning.

"The president has to know that when a president speaks, his words weigh a ton. So if some in the White House [believe] that correcting this behind the scenes is a consolation, I don't think it's good enough," Pelosi said.

She added that what was written in the piece was "a reflection of what we hear from many Republicans around the country, not in Congress. That the party of Lincoln cannot survive the party of Trump."

Pelosi also said it probably wouldn't take "too long" to reveal who the anonymous author is.

Rumors swirled online on Wednesday that Pence had written the op-ed, because it used an odd word, lodestar, that the vice president has been known to employ.

But Jarrod Agen, Pence's chief of staff, moved quickly to deny the accusation, writing on Twitter that the vice president "puts his name on his Op-Eds. The @nytimes should be ashamed and so should the person who wrote the false, illogical, and gutless op-ed. Our office is above such amateur acts."

Mike Pence
Vice President Mike Pence speaks at the Department of Homeland Security's Cybersecurity Summit in New York, on July 31. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said her first guess as to who was behind the scathing, anonymously written New York Times op-ed was Pence. Eduardo Munoz/Reuters

The column, written by a senior White House official, describes the "resistance" working within the Trump administration to minimize potential damage wrought by Trump's "petty and ineffective" leadership style.

The op-ed takes swings at the president, describing his tendency toward erratic behavior and "instability." The author even says that Trump's innermost circle, the members of his Cabinet, had debated in the early days of the administration whether to invoke the 25th Amendment, which would have jump-started the process of removing a president from office because he is seen as unfit to govern.

"The root of the problem is the president's amorality," the author writes. "Anyone who works with him knows he is not moored to any discernible first principles that guide his decision making."

Trump bashed the op-ed, accusing the "failing" New York Times of using a "phony source." He also questioned the actual existence of the "gutless" writer. He went on to tweet that if such a person does exist, the Times should turn the person over to the government "at once" for national security reasons.

In addition to Pence, other senior officials, including Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats, have all denied writing the op-ed.

As the day went on, a flood of officials within the administration added their denials. Among those to state that they were not the author were Nikki Haley, ambassador to the United Nations, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and Education Secretary Betsy DeVos.

This story has been updated to include additional denials from Trump administration officials.

Nancy Pelosi Guessed Mike Pence Was Anonymous Anti-Trump Op-Ed Writer: "That Was My First Thought" | U.S.