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‘You Are Not Protecting This Country.’ Melania Trump Responds to New York Times Anonymous Op-Ed

The day after the New York Times published an anonymous op-ed by a high-ranking member of the Trump administration, White House staffers, cabinet members, and Republicans at large have been outspoken in their outrage—and their denials of having written the piece themselves. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo condemned the essay. Vice President Mike Pence’s office said it was “above such amateur acts.” And now even First Lady Melania Trump has issued a response.

In response to CNN reporter Kate Bennett, Melania Trump issued the following statement on the New York Times anonymous bombshell:

Freedom of speech is an important pillar of our nation’s founding principles and a free press is important to our democracy. The press should be fair, unbiased and responsible. Unidentified sources have become the majority of voices people hear about in today’s news. People with no names are writing our nation’s history. Words are important, and accusations can lead to severe consequences. If a person is bold enough to accuse people of negative actions, they have a responsibility to publicly stand by their words and people have the right to be able to defend themselves. To the writer of the oped – you are not protecting this country, you are sabotaging it with your cowardly actions.

The response was first reported by Bennett via Twitter:

As of this writing, more than a dozen Trump Administration officials have denied writing the anonymous essay published by the New York Times. The names on that list include Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson, Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats, Secretary of Defense James Mattis, and Attorney General Jeff Sessions.