- The Washington Times - Saturday, September 8, 2018

Sean Hannity joined President Trump on Friday in urging federal authorities to identify the author of the anonymously written op-ed responsible for rocking the White House this week, calling their conduct a crime worthy of being investigated by the U.S. Secret Service.

Discussing the opinion column during his Fox News program, “Hannity,” the conservative commentator and adamant Trump supporter urged the agency responsible for protecting the president to find its author for the sake of national security.

“This is a clear and present danger to the country,” said Mr. Hannity. “That is beyond unacceptable. It’s like a soft coup aided and abetted by the corrupt media in this country.”

Published by The New York Times on Wednesday and attributed to an unnamed senior official, the op-ed claimed of an existence of a “resistance inside the Trump administration,” spurring dozens of denials and reportedly outraging the president.

“Does this so-called senior official have a security clearance? Access to top-secret information? Sources? Methods? And they’re potentially compromised?” Mr. Hannity asked.

“Ultimately this is an attack on the presidency and the country. The country can get hurt in this process,” he added. “President Trump and the Secret Service now must do everything in their power to dismantle the deep state and find out whoever this is.”

Indeed, Mr. Trump said earlier Friday that he believes his attorney general, Jeff Sessions, “should be investigating who the author of this piece was, because I really believe it’s national security.”

“Number one, the Times should never have done that, because really what they’ve done is virtually, you know, it’s treason, you could call it a lot of things,” Mr. Trump said previously.

Mr. Trump has become “obsessed” with identifying the source of the op-ed, CNN reported Friday.

“The Secret Service does not confirm or comment on the absence or existence of specific investigations. However, we can confirm that the Secret Service takes all threats against the President as our highest priority,” an agency spokesperson told The Washington Times.

A Justice Department spokesperson previously declined to comment on any potential investigation, The New York Times reported Friday.

Mr. Hannity has served as one of the Mr. Trump’s most fervent defenders on cable television and has previously accused Democrats and so-called “deep state” operatives of attempting to remove him from office.

Former House speaker Newt Gingrich, a 2016 Trump campaign surrogate, previously said that appearing on “Hannity” was among the “most effective ways of communicating” with the president.

“Occasionally, we’d talk on Sean’s show knowing Trump was watching,” Mr. Gingrich said last year.

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