In response to an anonymous White House official publishing an op-ed Wednesday criticizing President Donald Trump’s demeanor and temperament, what’s arguably the worst news network in American history speculated on who the perpetrator might be.
In a piece titled “13 people who might be the author of The New York Times op-ed,” CNN “journalist” and political commentator Chris Cillizza speculated on who might possess a “motive” to stab the president in the back.
— CNN International (@cnni) September 6, 2018
But it becomes clear from the get-go that Cillizza’s motives weren’t as much about guessing, as they were about smearing. For instance, the list included Attorney General Jeff Sessions, a by-the-book type of guy known for his unwavering loyalty.
Unbelievably, the list even included first lady Melania Trump, among other loyal family members. In one breath, Cillizza names the First Lady as a possible culprit, then dismisses his own assertion.
How’s that for some spin?
“To be clear, I don’t think the first lady did this. But her willingness to send messages when she is unhappy with her husband or his administration is unmistakable,” Cillizza opined, citing the time the first lady had worn a jacket emblazoned with the logo “I really don’t care. Do u?”
Except the president made it clear at the time that Melania had worn the jacket to criticize the media, not her husband. Her spokeswoman seemed to confirm this as well:
“I REALLY DON’T CARE, DO U?” written on the back of Melania’s jacket, refers to the Fake News Media. Melania has learned how dishonest they are, and she truly no longer cares!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 21, 2018
Today’s visit w the children in Texas impacted @flotus greatly. If media would spend their time & energy on her actions & efforts to help kids – rather than speculate & focus on her wardrobe – we could get so much accomplished on behalf of children. #SheCares #ItsJustAJacket
— Stephanie Grisham (@StephGrisham45) June 21, 2018
But God forbid CNN ever report anything accurately …
“And, if you believe this administration and Trump are governed by reality shows rules, then Melania writing the op-ed is the most reality TV thing EVER,” Cillizza added.
It’s like reading the diary entry of a 12-year-old teen. Oddly enough, the CNN bloviator never issued similar declarations about former President Barack Hussein Obama, who frequently appeared on actual reality TV shows for publicity purposes.
Social media’s reaction to Cillizza’s speculation was unanimous:
They are insane.
— Renee Peoples (@Teach_Peeps) September 6, 2018
Omg they are desperate
— PEllen (@prissyet) September 6, 2018
This is a joke right?
— Sonotmyname (@Inadvertantview) September 6, 2018
Wait a minute. I thought they made fun of her english. How do they explain her writing ability?
— T Lang (@loganscreek) September 6, 2018
You can scratch them all off the list if cnn is writing about them
— Jack Bristow (@RambaldiDevice) September 6, 2018
Not necessarily @ the last tweet.
According to Cillizza, other possible writers of The New York Times’ piece include White House counselor Kellyanne Conway (not likely), Chief of Staff John Kelly (not likely), Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen (not likely), Defense Secretary James Mattis (not likely), National Intelligence Director Dan Coats (not likely), Vice President Mike Pence (not likely), U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley (not likely) and even the president’s own daughter Ivanka and step-son Jared Kushner (PLEASE).
Of the thirteen total people whom Cillizza named, only two stand an actual chance of being the perpetrator: attorney Don McGahn, who recently announced his upcoming departure after it was learned he’d been cooperating with special counsel Robert Mueller, and especially Fiona Hill, a member of the left-wing Brookings Institute.
“She is far more skeptical about Russia’s motives than Trump — and was notably left out when Trump and Putin huddled on the sides of the G20 meeting in Germany in 2017,” Cillizza wrote. “She was a close adviser to national security adviser H.R. McMaster, who was removed from the White House. And, she was also reportedly mistaken for a clerk by Trump in one of her earliest meetings with him on Russia.”
Note also that the op-ed includes a lot of criticism regarding the president’s attitude toward Russia.
“[T]he president was reluctant to expel so many of Mr. Putin’s spies as punishment for the poisoning of a former Russian spy in Britain,” the piece reads. “He complained for weeks about senior staff members letting him get boxed into further confrontation with Russia, and he expressed frustration that the United States continued to impose sanctions on the country for its malign behavior. But his national security team knew better — such actions had to be taken, to hold Moscow accountable.”
So is Hill the perp? It’s certainly possible. What’s not possible — or at least extremely unlikely — is that first lady Melania Trump wrote it.