The Trump administration finally caught the turncoat. Ever since a “senior official in the Trump administration” wrote an anonymous column in the New York Times in 2018 declaring President Trump unfit for office, the White House began a hunt for the culprit.
The anonymous column, entitled “I Am Part of the Resistance Inside the Trump Administration”, stirred up a lot of frustration among Republicans, and joy among Democrats. People familiar with the internal probe have told Real Clear Investigations that, after a lengthy investigation, the White House believes they have found the mole: former deputy national security adviser Victoria Coates.
Instead of firing her and outing her to the public, the Trump administration has decided they don’t need the headache and bad press just before the election. So, Coates has been quietly transferred to the Department of Energy where she awaits a special assignment far away from the president — in Saudi Arabia.
Trump demoted the turncoat to this new position just four months after promoting her to the number two spot on his National Security Council. According to Real Clear Investigations, this move was made “amid a whisper campaign” that started in January, which identified Coates as “Anonymous.”
As “Anonymous,” Coates wrote the Times op-ed, a subsequent book titled “A Warning,” and claimed to be part of a cabal of “fellow Republicans” actively resisting Trump from inside the administration.
Catching a mole
Real Clear Investigations interviewed multiple people familiar who either have direct knowledge of, or participated in, the investigation of Coates. Each gave information about different pieces of evidence that led to outing Anonymous. The strongest piece of evidence involved computer textual analysis, which revealed “strikingly similar language, turns of phrase, and historical references by both Coates and Anonymous,” according to RCI.
RCI cited other pieces of evidence, which included first-hand accounts of events written by Anonymous, which were only witnessed by Coates and others who were eventually ruled out as suspects; Coates’ history of writing anonymously; and “the fact that Coates and Anonymous share a high-profile Washington literary agent with an author roster of disaffected ex-Trump officials.”
Sources say that to unmask the identity of the turncoat, investigators ran Coates published works through forensic author identification programs, which showed that “they matched the prose style of Anonymous.” The sentence structure, grammar, punctuation, and syntax matched as well.
Though Anonymous’ book “A Warning” begins with a preemptive denial that any classified evidence is disclosed within the text, RCI says that the Department of Justice is “looking into a potential violation of a federal regulation requiring officials with access to classified information to get prior approval before publishing books about their roles in the government.” Coates signed an NDA (non-disclosure agreement) in 2017 when she joined the White House.
White House investigators are reportedly looking into at least four other members of the White House staff whom they believe were aligned with Coates in her “resistance.”
More investigation details have emerged
After President Trump declared the op-ed an act of “treason,” and called for an investigation to catch the “gutless” official, the White House came up with a list of suspects. Lack of leads led to the investigation going unsolved for more than a year, until November 2019, when the turncoat’s book “A Warning” was released.
This book dared the administration to try and unmask its’ author, bragging that it had been “carefully written to prevent any inadvertent disclosure.” Instead of getting angry, the White House chose to take the challenge, and viewed the book as 260 pages of clues.
Coates was not on the radar as the turncoat at first, as she seemed to go along with the president and his policies, but after months and the elimination of more than 30 other suspects, investigators had their eyes on her. Unlike other suspects, such as NSC official Fiona Hill, Coates “checked virtually all the boxes,” according to RCI.
Real Clear Investigations reports that, “After a careful deconstruction of details in the book, the White House investigators found that Coates’s profile, as well as her persona as a highly opinionated moralist, matched up with that of the clandestine Trump official.”
Investigators deduced that Anonymous was a woman by the author’s disapproving comments stating that President Trump had a habit of addressing “accomplished female professionals” as “sweetie” and “honey.”
They noted that the turncoat’s area of responsibility was eerily similar to Coates’: national security and foreign policy, with expertise on Syria, Iraq, Iran, Israel, and other Middle Eastern areas. Anonymous also claimed to have been present at many meetings in the White House, including with the president, just as Coates was. The writing showed an insider’s knowledge of the NSC, and revealed that the author started their job during Trump’s presidential transition, as Coates did.
“That gave her away. She was in those early meetings and briefings. That put her high on the suspect list,” another source involved in the investigation said.
Her friends have tried to vouch for her, to no avail
Coates refused to discuss the matter on the record with Real Clear Investigations, and instead has retained an attorney. Several of her colleagues have come to her defense, claiming that the White House has the wrong person.
K.T. McFarland, Trump’s original deputy national security adviser, denies that Coates could be the turncoat. “The suggestion that Victoria is ‘Anonymous’ is preposterous,” said McFarland, who helped recruit Coates to the National Security Council, and supervised her for much of 2017.
“Victoria herself has denied being ‘Anonymous’ during her routine security clearance review. Anyone familiar with the security clearance process knows that it would have been a criminal offense, punishable by jail time, for her to lie about this,” McFarland added.
A source involved in the internal investigation said there was no doubt Coates was the turncoat, saying: “It’s her. That’s why she was shown the door.”
Even though many have tried to deny it, the evidence is too strong. Though it was never officially announced, President Trump gave us a hint.
Trump, speaking with reporters two days before Coates was reassigned on February 20, said that he knew the identity of Anonymous, but would not say anything else on the subject.
“Can’t tell you that, but I know who it is. I know all about ‘Anonymous,’” he said.