"Supposing I have a high-level national security, and he has got a clearance - we talked about clearances a lot recently - and he goes into a high-level meeting concerning China or Russian Federation or North Korea or something", Trump said. Trump is arguing it is essential to US national security to find out who the author is.
In the op-ed, the unnamed administration official claims there's "quiet resistance within the administration" and that many "are working diligently from within to frustrate the President's agenda and his worst inclinations".
"Supposing I have a high-level national security, and he has got a clearance, we talked about clearances a lot recently, and he goes into a high-level meeting concerning China or Russian Federation or North Korea or something", he said.
Trump claims that his call for an investigation is not spurred by the op-ed's negative portrayal of him.
"I don't see how we can do it", said Giuliani, who has repeatedly expressed concern about the risk of Trump committing perjury. "That somebody is allowed to do that is very sad commentary", he said.
Woodward describes Trump regularly insulting key members of his own team, who are in turn contemptuous of the president.
The Justice Department declined to comment on whether it planned to take action in response to the president's request.
The book depicts Trump aides working to head off potential foreign policy disasters, taking more measured steps after the president suggested assassinating his Syrian counterpart and stealing an order that would have cancelled the US-South Korea trade agreement.
The Times said in a statement that any such investigation would be an abuse of power, and that Trump's "threats. underscore why we must safeguard the identity of the writer of this op-ed".
The president noted that all of the top administration officials have already denied authorship of the letter.
Those accounts confirm reports from sources like Omarosa Manigault Newman, a former Trump White House aide, and Michael Wolff in his best-selling "Fire and Fury". Friday night, Trump asked the state's two senators - Mike Rounds and John Thune - to change libel laws to avoid unfavorable coverage.
"Nobody knows who the hell he is, or she, although they put he, but probably that's a little disguised".
But as the president attempted to say anonymous, the word came out sounding more like "anon-mous".
"In March 2017, Paul said that the federal government should employ the method to ascertain who leaked the transcripts of former national security adviser Michael Flynn's conversations with the USA ambassador".