‘Lodestar’ and ‘first principles’: Twitter’s hunt for the White House turncoat

The New York Times published an op-ed on Wednesday from a “senior” administration official that detailed the right-wing resistances within the administration, hoping to protect the country from some of President Donald Trump‘s worst impulses.

Naturally, Twitter wanted to know who might be behind such an explosive story and went to work scouring the op-ed for answers.

A couple key phrases popped out to people, but none more than the word “Lodestar,” a phrase that people immediately felt pointed to Vice President Mike Pence.

Others online spotted it soon after, and it immediately started to posit that Pence was behind it, with the hashtags #LodestarGate and #VeepThroat, a la the psuedonymous Deep Throat, who brought down the Richard Nixon administration.

Still others, though, found other phrases, like “first principles” to be indicative of a number of officials.

While speculation ran rampant, administration officials began denying it. Pence’s office issued a forceful statement, saying the vice president puts his name on opinions.

Which led to its own joke.

As the story has grown, numerous people have come out to deny it, including Pence.

This morning, Press Secretary Sarah Sanders put a bit of a fork in it, saying that any inquiries about the matter should go to the New York Times from now on.

Mark Felt, the original Deep Throat, routinely denied he was a source for the Washington Post, so do take all these denials with a grain of salt.

Because someone had to write it.

David Covucci

David Covucci

David Covucci is the Layer 8 editor at the Daily Dot, covering the intersection of politics and the web. His work has appeared in Vice, the Huffington Post, Jezebel, Gothamist, and other publications. He is particularly interested in hearing any tips you have. Reach out at [email protected]