Anonymous Trump official who wrote New York Times op-ed to publish book

Posted at 1:20 PM, Oct 22, 2019

The anonymous senior Trump administration official whose 2018 New York Times op-ed was called treasonous by President Donald Trump has written a new book about Trump titled "A Warning" that will be published next month, CNN has learned.

CNN has exclusively obtained a cover of the book, which has been a closely guarded secret until now and will be released November 19 by Twelve, a division of the Hachette Book Group. The author will remain anonymous, and sources familiar with the book tell CNN that "elaborate precautions have been taken to protect the author's identity."

The sources say that the publisher and the author's literary agents at Javelin were provided verification that the author is the same person who penned the Times op-ed , titled "I Am Part of the Resistance Inside the Trump Administration," on September, 5, 2018.

A draft press release from the publisher obtained by CNN describes the book as "picking up from where those first words of warning left off, this explosive book offers a shocking, first-hand account of President Trump and his record."

"It's an honor and a privilege to publish this book. This is serious stuff and this is a serious warning about our President, " Sean Desmond, Twelve's publisher, told CNN.

When asked for comment, Matt Latimer, cofounder of Javelin, told CNN that the author was not doing it for the money.

"The Author of A WARNING refused the chance at a seven figure advance and intends to donate a substantial amount of any royalties to the White House Correspondents Association and other organizations that fight for a free press that seeks the truth," Latimer said, adding that the book "was not written by the author lightly, or for the purpose of financial enrichment. It has been written as an act of conscience and of duty."

Asked if the author remained part of the Trump administration, Latimer declined to comment further, and a spokesperson for the publisher did not respond to a request for comment.

CNN reached out to the White House for comment and will publish it when and if one is provided.

The author's clear intention is to convince the nation to not re-elect Trump in 2020. One of the sources familiar with the book tells CNN that it is intended for two audiences, "the country in general of course and Trump voters, at least the persuadable ones. The hope is the book will get into the hands of those who are persuadables."

The Times op-ed from September 2018 described a president the author viewed as amoral, opposed to many conservative values such as freedom, and "impetuous, adversarial, petty and ineffective." The author wrote that "many of the senior officials in his own administration are working diligently from within to frustrate parts of his agenda and his worst inclinations."

Far more significant than the media and political world trying to guess the identity of the author of the op-ed was Trump's demand that then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions order a law enforcement investigation to find out.

"Jeff should be investigating who the author of that piece was because I really believe it's national security," Trump said on an Air Force One trip to North Dakota on November 7, 2018. "We're going to take a look at what he had, what he gave, what he's talking about — also where he is right now. Supposing I have a high-level national security meeting, and he has got a clearance...and he goes into a high-level meeting concerning China or Russia or North Korea or something, and this guy goes in. I don't want him at those meetings."

Whether the book or its author will end up playing a role in the Trump impeachment inquiry is unclear. The Trump presidency currently faces an existential threat from another anonymous whistleblower, albeit one who went through more established protocols by filing an official complaint, and a source close to the book tells CNN that its publication "is an unprecedented act during a president's term and was not decided on lightly." The source said that the author's "closest historic equivalent may be Deep Throat. As such the book should be of interest to ongoing investigations."

The source also told CNN that "the views reflected in the book are those of numerous senior officials in the administration including those afraid to say anything publicly."