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CNN POLL: Most want op-ed writer to unmask

Posted at 4:47 PM, Sep 10, 2018

Most Americans think the anonymous senior Trump administration official who wrote a bombshell New York Times op-ed should come forward, according to a new CNN Poll conducted by SSRS.

The op-ed has overtaken news in Washington and led to something of a witch hunt in the White House after the nameless official said White House staffers routinely work to stall and sabotage President Donald Trump's orders when they feel they are not in the best interests of the country.

A majority of Americans say the writer of the op-ed ought to publicly identify themselves (58% say so), and 55% feel it is inappropriate for an administration official to work against the agenda of the president for whom he or she works.


There are sharp partisan splits on both questions, with about 8-in-10 Republicans calling it inappropriate for a White House official to act against the President, that drops to about half of independents and about a third of Democrats. Similarly, 85% of Republicans, 55% of independents and 43% of Democrats say the writer of the op-ed ought to identify themselves.

Some Democrats and independents side with the President even though they do not like the job he is doing. Vastly more Democrats and independents say it is inappropriate for officials to act against the President than approve of Trump (36% of Democrats say it is appropriate to act against a President but just 5% of Democrats approve of Trump's performance).

The op-ed argued the staffers working behind the President's back are promoting "stable" government. In the new poll, less than half (46%) say Trump can manage the government effectively compared to 56% who say he cannot.

The CNN Poll was conducted by SSRS Sept. 6 through 9 among a random national sample of 1,003 adults reached on landlines or cellphones by a live interviewer. Results for the full sample have a margin of sampling error of plus or minus 3.8 percentage points; it is larger for subgroups.