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WikiLeaks mocked for its 'obvious' analysis of who wrote the anonymous New York Times piece criticising Donald Trump

Evening Standard logo Evening Standard 07/09/2018 Jacob Jarvis

WikiLeaks has been mocked for its analysis of who wrote the anonymous New York Times piece that claimed to be by a senior administration member forging a resistance against Donald Trump.

The organisation, known for spreading secret information from whistle blowers, statistically looked at the piece and came up with its own profile of what the writer might be like.

It determined they were most likely an older conservative male.

On Twitter, WikiLeaks wrote: “Based upon our statistical analysis of the language used in the New York Times anonymous Op Ed, the author is likely to be an older (58 per cent), conservative (92 per cent) male (66-87 per cent). Sources should protect themselves by consulting ‘adverserial stylometry’ and ‘forensic author profiling’.”

It has been derided for being ambiguous and not narrowing the potential pool of writers down – based on the profile of those working in the White House.

One person wrote: “Seriously? It took fancy analytics to determine it was an older conservative male? You just described the administration...”

Another said: “Based upon our statistical analysis of the language used in this tweet, the author is likely to be a Captain (87 per cent), Obvious (92 per cent).”

There has also been criticism of the apparent “hostility” towards someone who is essentially a leaker themselves.

A Tweet which read: “Strangely hostile towards leakers, there, WikiLeaks,” had more than 1,300 retweets.

WikiLeaks’ major rise to prominence came in 2010 when it released the ‘collateral murder’ footage from a US airstrike in Baghdad, which showed soldiers laughing at some casualties.

Its editor is computer programmer Julian Assange, who is currently in the embassy of Ecuador where he has received asylum.

The New York Times piece in question is said to have been written by an anonymous senior administration official.

Donald Trump wearing a suit and tie © Provided by Independent Print Limited
Donald Trump has demanded the name of the anonymous writer (Photo by SAUL LOEB / AFP) (AFP/Getty Images)

They claimed to be part of a "resistance" working "from within" to thwart Mr Trump's "worst inclinations",

Following the letter’s publication it is said that Trump himself leading a hunt to find its author.

Mr Trump claimed the column was treasonous.

He demanded that the newspaper name the author for “national security reasons”.

a man wearing a suit and tie standing in front of a flag: trumppenceshakles1212a.jpg © Provided by Independent Print Limited trumppenceshakles1212a.jpg
Vice president Mike Pence has denied writing the piece (Getty Images)

Mr Trump tweeted that if "the GUTLESS anonymous person does indeed exist, the Times must, for National Security purposes, turn him/her over to government at once!"

A shortlist of 12 possible identities for the whistle-blower has allegedly been drawn up by Trump aide.

Reportedly the president believes he or she works in the justice department or on national security matters.

The US secretary of state, Mike Pompeo, and vice president Mike Pence have both denied writing the letter.

Julian Assange standing in front of a building talking on a cell phone © Provided by Independent Print Limited
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