Vice President Mike Pence's office is denying that he is the senior administration official behind an extraordinary, anonymous opinion essay describing a "resistance" against President Donald Trump within his own administration.
The article's publication in The New York Times set off a wave of intense speculation about the author's identity. Observers seized on the essayist's use of the word "lodestar," which Pence often uses in his speeches and statements, as possible evidence the op-ed came from the vice president or among his top staff.
The vice president's office "definitively denies" that he wrote the piece for the Times, according to NBC News.
A top Pence communications official on Thursday also rejected the notion. "The Vice President puts his name on his Op-Eds," Jarrod Agen wrote on Twitter.
Several high-ranking Trump officials denied writing the essay. "It's not mine," Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told reporters in India, after ripping the Times for publishing the piece. Pentagon spokeswoman Dana White, meanwhile, said Defense Secretary James Mattis wasn't behind it, either.
There was also speculation that Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats might be the writer, who has been dubbed "Lodestar" by some in the Beltway. Coats memorably shot back at Trump in July, after the president appeared to take Russian President Vladimir Putin's side over the U.S. intelligence community's findings that Russia meddled in the 2016 election.