When paranoia rules the White House.

Courtesy of The Daily Beast

As President Donald Trump moves to purge his administration of perceived disloyalty, one of his top deputies is also doggedly working to expose perhaps the most famous dissident in its ranks.

Officially, assistant to the president Peter Navarro is Trump’s point-man on trade policy. But Navarro has also taken it upon himself in recent weeks to uncover the identity of the person known simply as “Anonymous,” the senior Trump administration official who has railed against the president in the New York Times opinion pages and, most recently, in a bestselling book titled A Warning, and whose actual identity has so far confounded White House leak hunters.

Since at least the time of the impeachment process against Trump, Navarro—whom the president affectionately calls “my Peter”—began conducting his own private investigation into the identity of Anonymous, according to three sources with knowledge of Navarro’s efforts.

One of those sources described Navarro’s investigative efforts as partially an in-depth analysis of the language and phrases used in Anonymous’ book and other public writings. The process, as described to The Daily Beast, mimics forensic linguistic profiling, and the goal is to cross-reference Navarro’s “profile” with a list of potential suspects.

Two other people familiar with Navarro’s efforts said he had zeroed in on at least one likely suspect and that he has compiled his findings in a written report that he’s shared with White House Counsel Pat Cipollone, who is leading official internal efforts to unearth Anonymous’ identity.

One of the sources who spoke with The Daily Beast specifically asked to be identified in this story as a “senior administration official” because that is how Anonymous is self-described in the famous op-ed and book.

I swear this reminds me of the movie, “The Caine Mutiny,” when Captain Queeg, played by Humphrey Bogart, demanded that the sailors stop everything to help him discover who had stolen strawberries from the officer’s mess. 

Trump is much like a paranoid Navy captain who cannot be bothered to pilot the ship because he is too busy chasing anybody who he perceives as being insubordinate. 

Not to feed into any conspiracy theories but I would imagine that Anonymous must be somebody who Trump refuses to suspect for them to have survived in their job this long after writing that first column in September of 2018.

I mean there has been an almost complete turnover of personnel since then, and yet this individual remains in place. 

Let’s file this under “Things that make you go Hmmm.”