Apr 19, 2020 - Politics & Policy

First look: Victoria Coates denies being "Anonymous"

The cover of the book "A Warning," by Anonymous
Graphic: Axios

President Trump's former deputy national security adviser, Victoria Coates, is denying new allegations that she is "Anonymous" — the author behind a New York Times op-ed and later a book detailing a resistance movement against President Trump within his own administration.

What she's saying: "The allegations published in Real Clear Investigations are utterly false. I am not Anonymous, and I do not know who Anonymous is," Coates says in a new statement obtained by Axios.

  • Cleta Mitchell, Coates’ lawyer, adds that RealClearInvestigations "peddled false statements citing only anonymous sources, despite on-the-record denials from Javelin LLC (the literary agent for Anonymous), the White House, and three well-respected former members of the Trump Administration—and now Dr. Coates as well."
  • "We are continuing to explore all available legal options," Mitchell concluded.

Details: Earlier this week, RealClearInvestigations published a story asserting that a months-long White House investigation identified Coates as "Anonymous," citing "people familiar with the internal probe."

  • Coates had declined to comment on the record for the story.
  • RealClearInvestigations did not immediately respond to a request for a response to Coates' statement.

Between the lines: The allegations against Coates aren't new. Last fall, rumors claiming Coates was the "Anonymous" writer began circulating throughout Washington, despite the administration rejecting the allegations against her.

  • Coates has since been reassigned from the National Security Council to the Energy Department, a move that came after the allegations strained her working relationship with Trump's national security adviser Robert O'Brien.
  • At the time, a senior administration official told Axios, "The White House leadership rejects rumors that have circulated recently and does not put any stock in the suggestion that Victoria Coates is the author of 'A Warning' or the related op-ed in the New York Times."
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