Speed Reads

LODESTAR

Mike Pence's office insists he didn't write that New York Times op-ed

The vice president of the United States is now publicly denying that he is actively working to sabotage the president.

This development comes after The New York Times published a stunning op-ed on Wednesday in which an anonymous senior Trump administration official claims to be part of a movement of resisters trying to undermine the president and his agenda from within. Some suspected the piece could have been written by Vice President Mike Pence because of the author's use of the word "lodestar," a favorite of Pence's.

But Jarrod Agen, Pence's communications director, put out a statement Thursday morning strongly denying that this is the case and insisting that Pence signs all of the op-eds he writes.

It's possible the use of the word "lodestar" in the op-ed might have been the author's attempt to throw readers off the scent and make them suspect Pence. Back in May, an anonymous White House leaker told Axios they consciously use the favored idioms of other staffers to cover their own tracks.

Pence isn't the only senior administration official feeling the need to deny, deny, deny. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo also insists he is not the author, adding that whoever wrote the op-ed is a "disgruntled, deceptive bad actor," NBC News' Hallie Jackson reports.