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Asked on Air Force One whether action should be taken against the Times, Trump said "I'm looking at that right now".

Trump advisor Kellyanne Conway told CNN in an interview that Trump believes it's "somebody in national security" and said she doesn't think it is a White House official. Trump called for the Times to disclose the author's identity, calling it a threat to national security.

Last week, an op-ed published in The New York Times called the president amoral and claimed some administration officials were working to subvert his agenda. Supposing I have a high-level national security, and he has got a clearance, we talked about clearances a lot recently, and he goes into a high-level meeting concerning China or Russian Federation or North Korea or something.

The writer, who described themselves as a senior official in the Trump administration, added that Mr Trump's "erratic behaviour would be more concerning if it weren't for unsung heroes in and around the White House".

The explosive article also claimed that there were early whispers within the Trump cabinet "to invoke the 25th Amendment", prompted by the president's apparent "instability".

Trump's call is the latest test of the independence of his Justice Department, which is supposed to make investigative and charging decisions without political interference from the White House. On Friday, Trump said the U.S. Justice Department should investigate the identity of the op-ed writer.

Ryan said he isn't anxious about President Donald Trump's public threats or inclinations toward shutting down the government in an effort to secure funding for his border wall.

US District Judge Randolph Moss sentenced foreign policy aide George Papadopoulos to 14 days in prison, acknowledging his guilty plea and his remorse, but noting that he "lied in an investigation that was important to national security".

"I mean, you look at this awful thing that took place today".

Trump has such trouble telling the truth, Dowd argues - per Woodward - that even though they agree he has done nothing wrong, the president would still probably contradict himself or tell a falsehood in any discussion with the Justice Department's investigators. Friday night, Trump asked the state's two senators - Mike Rounds and John Thune - to change libel laws to avoid unfavorable coverage.

The respected White House chronicler's "Fear: Trump in the White House", a 448-page account of an out-of-control administration, draws on hundreds of hours of insider interviews.

Sen. Chris Coons of DE said, "President Trump continues to show a troubling trend in which he views the Department of Justice as the private legal department of the Trump organization rather than an entity that is focused on respecting the Constitution and enforcing our laws".

"No, Dir. Mulvaney is not the author", a spokesperson for Mulvaney told NBC News.