Maddow: Anonymous op-ed author details ‘steady state’ that kept ‘wheels from coming off the White House wagon’

In a new book, the author of an anonymous New York Times op-ed has described a “steady state” that formed to “keep the wheels from coming off the White House wagon,” according to excepts from the book read by MSNBC host Rachel Maddow on her show Thursday. 

“The early Steady State formed to keep the wheels from coming off the White House wagon,” Maddow read from the excerpts of the book “A Warning.”

“When presidential appointees started conferring about their shared concerns with the nation’s chief executive … it was done informally, in weekly phone calls or on the margins of meetings,” Maddow continued, citing the book. 

Many of the concerns staff members had about the president stemmed from his “inattentiveness” and “impulsiveness.” 

The book also reportedly described some behaviors of Trump as “a visceral lesson that we weren’t just appointees of the president. We were glorified government babysitters.”

White House Press Secretary Stephanie Grisham told The Washington Post in an email that “the coward who wrote this book didn’t put their name on it because it is nothing but lies.”

“Real authors reach out to their subjects to get things fact checked — but this person is in hiding, making that very basic part of being a real writer impossible. Reporters who choose to write about this farce should have the journalistic integrity to cover the book as what it is — a work of fiction,” she added. 

The book’s author last year wrote an anonymous Times op-ed in which they described a “steady state” that pushed back on some of Trump’s impulses. 

“In Russia, for instance, the president was reluctant to expel so many of Mr. Putin’s spies as punishment for the poisoning of a former Russian spy in Britain. 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,” the person wrote last year.

“This isn’t the work of the so-called deep state. It’s the work of the steady state,” they continued at the time. 

The Post on Thursday also reported on an excerpt of the book in which the anonymous person, billed as “a senior official in the Trump administration,” wrote that officials wake up “in a full-blown panic” due to Trump’s tweets. 

“It’s like showing up at the nursing home at daybreak to find your elderly uncle running pantsless across the courtyard and cursing loudly about the cafeteria food, as worried attendants tried to catch him,” the author wrote, according to the newspaper.

 

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Written by Alan Smith

Alan Smith

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