Controversial New York Times essay raised questions about who is really in control in the White House

One by one, all the president’s men – and a handful of women – came forward. They did so to deny writing an extraordinary anonymous essay, published in the New York Times, that described a White House “resistance” to the worst impulses of the president: Donald Trump.

Vice-President Mike Pence said he was “above such amateur acts”. “Not mine,” said secretary of state Mike Pompeo. It would be “laughable”, said treasury secretary Steven Mnuchin, to think he wrote it. It would be “patently false” to say it came from Dan Coats, director of national intelligence.

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