The anonymous alleged “senior White House official” who authored A Warning, an anti-Trump book told from the perspective of an insider, gave an online Q&A session on Reddit. It did not go well.
Reddit Q&As are known on the site as “Ask Me Anything” (AMA), and often go poorly for carefully PR-managed members of the political and media establishment (See also: CNN’s Chris Cilizza Gets Roasted In Reddit AMA). The anonymous anti-Trumper’s AMA was no exception.
The top-rated comment in the AMA at the time of this article’s publication is a question from a Redditor asking “anonymous” why, if they believe that Trump is such a threat, did they opt to write a book instead of testifying under oath.
“Anonymous” did not answer.
A reply to the comment from another Redditor said that “anonymous” simply “wants to cash in,” a sentiment echoed by many other commenters in the AMA.
“Anonymous” attempted to respond to this allegation, saying that their motive is “not financial” and that they plan to “substantially donate” royalties from book sales to “nonprofit organizations focused on government accountability and on supporting those who stand up for the truth in repressive regimes around the world.”
The answer did not convince many Redditors.
“Is it weird that I don’t trust you to “donate them substantially?” said one.
“‘Substantially’ – Would be great to get something without weasel words. Also, are there any payments other than “royalties” from the sale? To author or proxies/associates?” asked another.
Another Redditor replied with just one word, quoting the anonymous author:
More accusations in a similar vein continued throughout the AMA. After a Reddit moderator asked the author if there was a particular event that inspired them to write the book, a Redditor responded:
“Does ‘wanting a bunch of money’ count as an ‘event?'”
Other Redditors offered critiques of the material in the anonymous author’s book, even casting doubt on whether the author really is a senior administration official.
“What you wrote is vague and could have been written by anyone who’s kept up with current events and the rest surmised,” wrote one AMA participant. “Without you putting your name out there it lacks credibility. There’s no grand revelations, no specificity, nothing that would create a plausible argument that you should be taken seriously as someone who knows anything.”
Here at least, the anonymous author offered a partial guarantee, saying “Trump will hear from me, in my own name, before the 2020 election.”
In an earlier comment, the anonymous author made a similar pledge — although in both comments, they did not say if they planned to reveal their identity publicly, or simply within the administration that they allegedly work in.
“As far as anonymity is concerned, I will not keep my identity shrouded in secrecy forever,” wrote the author. “I am not afraid to use my own name to express concern about the current occupant of the Oval Office. Donald Trump has not heard the last of me. There is more to come. Other people who are currently serving, and who have left, are also considering adding their voices before votes are cast in 2020.”
The Q&A was held on Reddit’s “IAmA” board, the site’s main hub for AMAs with prominent individuals, which are held regularly in separate discussion threads.
Compared to other recent AMAs, the anonymous author’s was not rated highly by Reddit users. At the time of publication, the AMA has just 350 “upvotes” (Reddit’s equivalent of Facebook “likes”). By comparison, an AMA with a National Geographic wildlife crime reporter, posted approximately 9 hours before the anonymous author’s, gained over 4,000 upvotes, while a day-old AMA from a Parks & Recreation actor currently has over 14,000 upvotes.
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Allum Bokhari is the senior technology correspondent at Breitbart News.