This word from the anonymous New York Times op-ed may prove Mike Pence wrote it
Mike Pence (Photo: Gage Skidmore/Flickr)

As the media world (and the White House) scrambles to figure out the identity of the anonymous senior Trump administration official who wrote a scathing New York Times op-ed rebuking the president, one producer thinks he may have figured it out.

Panoply audio producer Dan Bloom tweeted that the use of the word "lodestar" to laud the late John McCain not only ruled out people like Stephen Miller — it also stuck out because he'd heard it before.

"'Lodestar' just seems like an unusual word to use in general, not to mention in an op-ed that's going to be widely read," Bloom wrote. He added that he researched whether White House chief of staff John Kelly and Defense Secretary James Mattis had ever used it, but it doesn't appear that they had.

He then ran across the word in a speech Vice President Mike Pence made to the United Nations in 2017, saying that the NGO "must again be our lodestar, our ideal, and our aspiration."

The term came up again two months later at a dinner, Bloom noted.

Pence used it again in February 2018, the producer wrote — but he also was documented using it in 2011 as well.

In subsequent tweets, Bloom noted that it couldn't simply be attributed to Pence's speechwriter Stephen Ford because he began working for the vice president in 2001, but the first usage that anyone had found was in 2001.

"The Times piece begins with a disclaimer that describes the author as: 'a senior official in the Trump administration whose identity is known to us and whose job would be jeopardized by its disclosure,'" Bloom wrote. "Pence is basically the only WH employee that cannot be fired, but as [I] read it, the language 'job would be jeopardized' is rather broad."

"Even if Vice President Mike Pence can't be fired, if this were to go public, Pence's influence and effectiveness would certainly be jeopardized," he added.

"I could be totally wrong," Bloom acknowledged, adding that his is a "speculative, unconfirmed theory" that is "based on words that came out of Vice President Mike Pence's mouth."