Victoria Coates, then a deputy national security adviser, was transferred out of the White House amid a whisper campaign that she was the author of the op-ed and book.
Former President Donald Trump’s trade adviser Peter Navarro penned a 15-page dossier falsely accusing his colleague Victoria Coates of being Anonymous, according to a copy of the document that was obtained by POLITICO and captures the backbiting that was rife in the Trump White House.
The December 2019 memo goes into great detail to make the case that Coates — who was then a deputy national security adviser — was the author of both the New York Times op-ed and a tell-all book that described a resistance force within the administration aiming to undermine President Donald Trump.
Coates, who is not named in the memo but is clearly identified through specific information, was transferred out of the White House to the Department of Energy in February, just weeks after Navarro wrote and circulated the document.
The dossier lists fifteen bullet points as the likely profile of the author, and several of them turned out to be wrong, including that the person was a “Female With Several Children,” a “Middle East Expert, Pro-Israel, Iran Hawk,” an “Experienced Writer” who had ties to former national security adviser John Bolton and who worked at the National Security Council and not at a Cabinet agency.
The Dec. 2, 2019, memo, entitled “Identity of Anonymous” and which has never been published publicly, seems to reverse-engineer the search for Anonymous and cherry-pick clues to pin the blame on Coates.
The memo — which was riddled with incorrect theories — shows how Anonymous set off significant turmoil inside the White House and also how senior officials were eager to go after their colleagues.
Anonymous turned out to be Miles Taylor, who was the chief of staff at the Department of Homeland Security and eventually became an outspoken Trump critic before revealing himself as Anonymous in late October of last year.
The person said that Navarro had shared that Trump was “aware” of the memo, and another said that “Navarro was pimping the idea that Victoria was Anonymous to the President.”
“There is no question in my mind that it got Victoria fired,” said one of the former officials.
Asked why Navarro targeted Coates in the first place, another former official said only he had “decided she was a globalist early on.”
Despite telling CNN in February 2020 that the extent of his hunt was just reading and thinking about the book and op-ed, a person familiar with the matter said that Navarro was clearly circulating his theory around town and that he floated the notion that Coates was Anonymous to a reporter at The Washington Post, but the Post was not able to verify Navarro’s claims. A Post spokesperson didn’t respond to a request for comment.
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