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A similar claim was made in the now-infamous "Lodestar" editorial to the New York Times, in which an anonymous White House official also wrote of an in-house "resistance" attempting to thwart Trump.

"Well before this week's revelations about President Trump's interactions with Defence Secretary Jim Mattis in Bob Woodward's new book, officials inside the White House have been actively discussing who will replace Mattis at the Pentagon whenever he might step down, the daily reported".

Trump derided the article as "anonymous, meaning gutless" and lashed out at the New York Times for publishing it, insisting "they don't like Donald Trump and I don't like them because they're very dishonest people".

White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders tried to head off reporters' inquiries of Trump officials, tweeting that the questions should be aimed at The New York Times, which she said was "complicit in this deceitful act". Refresh your page to make sure you are seeing the most current information.

One of the leading theories online is that Vice-President Mike Pence penned the piece, based on the use of the word "lodestar", which Kimmel found suspicious. The @nytimes should be ashamed and so should the person who wrote the false, illogical, and gutless op-ed. His spokesman Jarrod Agen said: "Our office is above such amateur acts", adding that the writer "should be ashamed".

Murphy and others argued the op-ed signals an important shift in Trump's presidency, even if it did not come as a surprise.

The op-ed represents a shocking critique of Trump and is without precedent in modern American history.

Trump has called the forthcoming book "total fiction - just like he wrote in the past about other presidents". Expressing the resolve of a handful of officials in the Trump administration to thwart Trump's "more misguided impulses", the piece zooms in to what its writer believes to be the fundamental problem: Trump's "amorality".

For these reasons, writes Bunch, Congress must invoke the 25th Amendment to remove Trump from office.

"He was, nobody knows who the hell he is, or she, they put he, but that's probably a little disguise, that means it's she".

Meanwhile, the best that Trump opponents can hope for is that the in-house anti-Trump resistance continues to thwart the 45th president at every opportunity.