Washington D.C. loves a political scandal, and The New York Times Op-ed piece by an anonymous member of President Donald Trump’s administration has given the town, and the country, a mammoth one. It has also provided oddsmakers an opportunity for two proposition bets.
The first is on the identity of the author who wrote the piece titled: “I Am Part of the Resistance Inside the Trump Administration.” The only clue by the newspaper was that it was penned by a senior staff member of the administration. It is yet another blow to the Trump presidency.
Everyone from late night talk show hosts to political insiders have a theory on who it could be. So do oddsmakers at Bovada and MyBookie, who have placed different people as the favorite.
The second prop bet is from BetMyBookie and offers what the President will do if the person’s identity is revealed. The online sportsbook has “Will Donald Trump have the writer of the Op-Ed essay tried for treason?” The yes is -200, while the no is +160.
Deny, Deny, Deny
Bovada has Attorney General Jeff Sessions as the top pick at +250, and Vice President Mike Pence at +300. Chief of Staff John Kelly and Secretary of Defense James Mattis are at +400.
MyBookie has Pence the overwhelming favorite at -150. The next closest person is Education Secretary Betsy DeVos at +200. Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo are at +400. Mattis and Sessions are at +500. The President’s daughter and her husband, Jared Kushner are at +1200.
All of the above, and most all of Trump’s cabinet have issued denials, either through spokespeople or on social media.
Pence’s deputy chief of staff and communications director Jarrod Agen tweeted Thursday his boss’s denial.
“The Vice President puts his name on his Op-Eds. The New York Times should be ashamed and so should the person who wrote the false, illogical, and gutless op-ed. Our office is above such amateur acts,” Agen wrote.
Sessions also had someone from his office issue a denial, and did not mention it when he made a speech in front of 500 Indiana police officers on Thursday.
The former senator is often a target of Trump’s criticism. He found out that Trump has referred to him as “mentally retarded” and mocked his southern accent, according to a new book by Washington Post reporter Bob Woodward.
Traitor Among Us
As expected, Trump is furious about the piece and was quick to vilify both author and publisher. He took to his preferred communication device and posted on Twitter Wednesday.
Does the so-called “Senior Administration Official” really exist, or is it just the Failing New York Times with another phony source? If the GUTLESS anonymous person does indeed exist, the Times must, for National Security purposes, turn him/her over to government at once!,” Trump wrote.
At a rally in Montana on Thursday, Trump likened the op-ed article to treason.
“Well, number one, the Times never should have done that, because really what they’ve done is virtually, you know, you could call it treason, you could call it a lot of things, but to think you have somebody in all of the Cabinets — so many people, as you know,” Trump said. “They came forward, they’re writing editorials, they’re all saying, you know, it’s got to be at a fairly low level.”