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Excerpts from an early copy of the book, titled "Fear: Trump in the White House", were reported on Tuesday by The Washington Post, portraying a chaotic Trump White House in which the president is bad-mouthed by members of his staff.

This, then, presents itself as first-hand acknowledgement that the coup is real.

Even so, an internal cabal that conspires to constrain the president arguably fits the definition of a "deep state", though not quite the same sort of deep state involving Obama officials or for-life employees that attempts to thwart Trump's policy goals from within.

Trump reacted to the column with "volcanic" anger and was "absolutely livid" over what he considered a treasonous act of disloyalty and told confidants he suspects the official works on national security issues or in the Justice Department, according to two people familiar with his private discussions.

The laundry list of criticisms should be familiar to the president's opponents on the left and the right, however.

"Freedom of speech is an important pillar of our nation's founding principles and a free press is important to our democracy. It's the work of the steady state", the writer adds.

The op-ed came a day after reports said journalist Bob Woodward's book Fear: Trump in the White House, which is highly critical of the Trump administration, is scheduled to be released on September 11.

Such a manoeuvre has been, up until now, largely consigned to the fringes of American political discourse and the fever dreams of Mr Trump's angriest opponents.

"But no one wanted to precipitate a constitutional crisis".

Astute observers have noted, though, that the rest of the administration is operating on another track, one where countries like Russian Federation are called out for meddling and punished accordingly, and where allies around the world are engaged as peers rather than ridiculed as rivals.

He continued by saying the success of his presidency is enough to discount the book's portrait of a messy White House.

To some observers, the ultimatum appeared to play into the very concerns about the president's impulses raised by the essay's author.

"The root of the problem is the president's amorality", the person wrote. There is a quiet resistance within the administration of people choosing to put country first.

Who wrote the devastating and politically-explosive New York Times article?

"Anonymous sources have looser lips and may take liberties".

The essay immediately triggered a wild guessing game as to the author's identity on social media, in newsrooms and inside the West Wing, where officials were blindsided by its publication. Not since "Anonymous" wrote the novel Primary Colors, a thinly disguised fictional account of the 1990 Bill Clinton presidential campaign, has there been a mystery like this.

Among his other revelations: Former top economic adviser Gary Cohn stole a letter off Trump's desk that the president planned to sign that would withdraw the United States from a trade agreement with South Korea.

It has never been used to strip a president from power and would be a complicated process.

Woodward also reveals that Trump orders print outs of his tweets and studied them to find out which ones were most popular.

He tweeted: "Does the so-called "Senior Administration Official" really exist, or is it just the Failing New York Times with another phony source?"