Executive branch

President Donald Trump./Shealah Craighead via White House and Wikimedia Commons.

President Donald Trump told reporters on Friday that the U.S. Department of Justice should investigate the recent New York Times opinion piece that was anonymously written by a White House senior official.

“I would say (Attorney General Jeff Sessions) should be investigating who the author of that piece was because I really believe it’s national security,” Trump said on Air Force One, according to the Washington Post.

Trump also said he may take legal action against the Times for publishing the piece, the Post reports.

The Justice Department would not comment, according to ABC News. Trump also suggested to reporters that the op-ed writer may not exist.

“Eventually the name of this sick person will come out,” he said. “Hey, maybe it’s nobody. Maybe the Times did it. The Times uses phony sources all the time.”

When the op-ed was published Wednesday, the Times included an editor’s note stating that they knew who the author was, and that individual’s identity was not revealed because doing so would put the person’s job at risk. The newspaper described publishing an anonymous opinion piece as a “rare step.”

In part, the piece stated that meetings with the president “veer off topic and off the rails,” and “his impulsiveness results in half-baked, ill-informed and occasionally reckless decisions that have to be walked back.”

According to the writer, many senior officials in the administration—including the op-ed’s author—are “working diligently from within to frustrate parts of his agenda and his worst inclinations.”