Man Who Outed Watergate’s ‘Deep Throat’ on Times Op-Ed Writer: ‘I Do Think I Know Who it Is’ (WATCH)

John D. O’Connor, the lawyer who confirmed that the FBI’s W. Mark Felt was the one who leaked information to Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein on the Watergate scandal, says he’s got a pretty good idea who wrote the anonymous op-ed in the New York Times that drove much of last week’s news cycle.

O’Connor joined CNN’s Jim Sciutto on Friday and offered a theory on the purported object of President Donald Trump‘s “obsession”: the identity of the “senior White House” official who penned the anonymous op-ed, “I Am Part of the Resistance Inside the Trump Administration.”

“I should add we don’t know if this person is actually a man or a woman, but John O’Connor, you’ve got a lot of experience here. Thank you so much for walking us through,” Sciutto began.

O’Connor didn’t waste any time, saying, “Well, let me tell you this, Jim. I do think I know who it is. If that’s important to you.”

O’Connor said he’d put his money on U.S. ambassador to Russia, Jon Hunstman.

Sciutto replied that Hunstman has denied that he wrote the op-ed. O’Connor answered that this was not so.

“Well, he didn’t really. it was a non0denial denial,” he said. “I don’t have the words right in front of me, but he didn’t really come out — number one. He didn’t say it, his spokesman did. And he didn’t actually deny it, he did some circumlocution. So I would look at that. All the factors suggest Jon Huntsman.”

The statement released on behalf of Hunstman that O’Connor is referring to read this way: “Amb Huntsman: Come to find, when you’re serving as the U.S. envoy in Moscow, you’re an easy target on all sides. Anything sent out by me would have carried my name. An early political lesson I learned: never send an anonymous op-ed.”

The thing is, the Times said that they the identity of the person who sent the op-ed was “known” to them. Hunstman denied sending an “an anonymous op-ed.” In order for his identity to be known he would have had to send it with his name.

In other words, the statement didn’t really rule out Hunstman as a suspect.

Some of the subjects covered in the op-ed also pointed in Hunstman’s direction, given the focus on Russia:

Take foreign policy: In public and in private, President Trump shows a preference for autocrats and dictators, such as President Vladimir Putin of Russia and North Korea’s leader, Kim Jong-un, and displays little genuine appreciation for the ties that bind us to allied, like-minded nations.

Astute observers have noted, though, that the rest of the administration is operating on another track, one where countries like Russia are called out for meddling and punished accordingly, and where allies around the world are engaged as peers rather than ridiculed as rivals.

[Image via CNN screengrab]

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