The New York Times published an op-ed written by an anonymous "senior administration official" last week that echoes numerous claims Woodward makes in his book, but he said he has "no idea" who the author is.
Explosive excerpts from Woodward's upcoming book, "Fear: Trump in the White House", have emerged throughout the week, documenting a chaotic White House in which staffers regularly attempt to act against the wishes of their boss. "I would say that maybe half of those are key people". "What are we dealing with this idiot for?'" the book quotes Dowd - who later resigned - as saying.
"Taking note of the ever-growing divisions in the USA that are being played out in the House, the senior official writes, "(T) he president continues to act in a manner that is detrimental to the health of our republic". What Woodward never explains is who wrote the NAFTA memo.
CNN previously reported that White House aides were struggling Thursday morning to get ahead of the op-ed as the Cabinet and other top officials were releasing their own statements, according to an administration official.
While Woodward's is not the first unflattering investigation into Trump's White House, it carries particular weight coming from the man who together with Carl Bernstein authored the Watergate expose that brought down former President Richard Nixon.
"If senior members of the administration think the president can not perform his duties, they should invoke the 25th amendment", said Sen.
The anonymous author, claiming to be part of the "resistance" to Trump "working diligently from within" his administration, said, "Many Trump appointees have vowed to do what we can to preserve our democratic institutions while thwarting Mr. Trump's more misguided impulses until he is out of office". "It will make President Trump more resistant to sober advice than he already was, which doesn't seem like a good thing for the country".
After the op-ed was first published, the Erik Wemple Blog asked the New York Times if it had firmed up this allegation about the 25th Amendment chatter.
The paper says the author requested anonymity and that this was essential to deliver an "important perspective" to its readers.
White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said the Times should apologize for publishing the story, and called its author a "coward" who "should do the right thing and resign".
"Does the so-called "Senior Administration Official" really exist, or is it just the Failing New York Times with another phony source?"
So in the administration's view, anonymity in the media is fine so long as it fits the president's agenda.