Multiple reports suggested Monday that the author of the infamous New York Times op-ed attacking President Trump as well as the new anti-Trump book A Warning was a former speechwriter for ex-Defense Secretary James Mattis, but late in the day the former staffer denied it.
When asked by Fox News and Mother Jones earlier in the day if he was indeed “Anonymous,” former Mattis speechwriter Guy Snodgrass declined to confirm or deny. Monday night, the New York Post reported that Snodgrass claimed he was not the author.
If true, the revelation would fly the face of previous media reports that portrayed the anonymous anti-Trumper as a high level Trump official.
“Mr. Snodgrass was a junior staffer who took notes in some meetings but played no role in decision making,” Mattis’s assistant Candace Currier said in a statement in October. Currier blasted Snodgrass’s recent anti-Trump memoir, Holding the Line, saying Mattis “hasn’t read the book and doesn’t plan to.”
Holding the Line’s literary similarities to A Warning led New Republic writer David Kusnet to guess that Snodgrass was the Anonymous anti-Trumper.
As in A Warning, the sentences and paragraphs are pithy and punchy. Every chapter in both books begins with an inspiring but not cliché quotation from a historic figure. Many passages in the books are remarkably similar: the ordeal of conducting a Pentagon briefing for Trump; national security staffers exchanging appalled asides about Trump’s conduct of foreign policy via Twitter; and the arguments for why American alliances strengthen national security and why immigration policy shouldn’t be based on building a border wall. In particular, both books stress that, when briefed about international alliances, Trump derails discussions by griping about how allies are stiffing the U.S., from allegedly miserly NATO contributions to ostensibly one-sided trade policies.
In a statement last month following the release of Holding the Line, Currier said that “surreptitiously taking notes without authorization for a self-promoting personal project is a clear violation of that trust.”
Fox News correspondent Trace Gallagher asked Snodgrass about the matter during an interview Monday, pointing out that he had tweeted out a link to The New Republic:
“If you look at the article, the author, David Kusnet, pretty much hits all the high points, I mean he makes a very good case,” Gallagher said. “The question is, are you anonymous?”
“Great question, as you mentioned, I have a book out right now with my name on it called ‘Holding The Line,’ Snodgrass said. “I do appreciate that The New Republic said the writing was excellent across both books, but if I was going to make an announcement like that I would come into the studio with you in New York City.”
“So you are not denying that you are Anonymous,” Gallagher pressed.
“I just heard this reporting as I was coming over to the studio, I got invited on to talk about national security,” Snodgrass replied. “There is a lot to talk about there.”
“Why not just deny it outright? You said you just heard about it on your way to the studio but you sent out the tweet today not really denying it,” Gallagher continued.
“It’s the latest in a long series of D.C. parlor games, not unique to this point in time, it’s been going on for decades,” Snodgrass responded cryptically.
Mother Jones reporter Dan Spinelli wrote on Twitter that he had pressed Snodgrass on the question, and Snodgrass responded, “No comment at this time.”
This @newrepublic piece posits that former Mattis aide Guy Snodgrass is "Anonymous." I sent the article to Snodgrass, who texted back, "Fun." When I pressed him on whether it was true, he replied, "No comment at this time." https://t.co/yHDClvhjRw
— Dan Spinelli (@danspinelli902) November 25, 2019
Attorney Mark S. Zaid, who is the attorney for the anti-Trump CIA “whistleblower,” said that Snodgrass is also a client of his, writing on Twitter: “If I couldn’t be connected enough to current events, now my client @GuySnodgrass, whose new memoir I helped get published by suing @DeptofDefense, is suspected of also being #Anonymous. When it rains it pours.”
When it rains it pours. https://t.co/dQHYBRavGM
— Mark S. Zaid (@MarkSZaidEsq) November 25, 2019
After playing coy for most of the day, Snodgrass finally denied that he was the anonymous anti-Trump official on Twitter late Monday afternoon.
Nope, not me. Looks like David Kusnet is 1 for 2 on anonymous book authors. https://t.co/kOLirvAkrI
— Guy Snodgrass (@GuySnodgrass) November 25, 2019
Snodgrass also told the NY Post in a statement Monday, “No, I didn’t author A Warning.”
Whether he is “Anonymous” or just trying to drum up interest in his anti-Trump tell-all Holding the Line, the former speechwriter has already disgraced himself, according to Currier.
Snodgrass “may receive a few brief moments of attention for this book. But those moments will be greatly outweighed by the fact that to get them, he surrendered his honor,” Currier said in his statement last month.