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Trump supporters use NYT op-ed to bolster ‘deep state’ theories — does it actually prove anything?

WATCH: Trump says he can think of 4 or 5 people who might be New York Times op-ed writer

Several supporters of U.S. President Donald Trump have insisted that there may be a “deep state” out to harm his administration.

And they’re now using The New York Times’ opinion piece written by an anonymous “senior White House official” to bolster those conspiracy theories.

In a piece titled, “I Am Part of the Resistance Inside the Trump Administration,” the writer said Wednesday that they are working along with others to “thwart” Trump’s “worst inclinations.”

READ MORE: Donald Trump calls anonymous New York Times op-ed writer a ‘gutless coward’

But the writer insisted the “resistance” is not a deep state, which is known as government officials working against the current administration’s plans.

“This isn’t the work of the so-called deep state. It’s the work of the steady state,” the op-ed writer wrote.

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Trump doesn’t agree.

WATCH: Trump calls NY Times Op-ed anonymous writer a ‘gutless coward’

Trump calls NY Times Op-ed anonymous writer a ‘gutless coward’
Trump calls NY Times Op-ed anonymous writer a ‘gutless coward’

On Thursday, Trump told a crowd in Montana that the senior official is a threat to democracy.

“Unelected, deep state operatives who defy the voters to push their own secret agendas are truly a threat to democracy itself,” he said.

“For the sake of our national security, The New York Times should publish his name at once,” Trump said. “I think their reporters should go and investigate who he is. That would actually be a good story.”

Those who have preached the deep state theory in the past also spoke out about the op-ed, saying it proves their point.

WATCH: White House aims to zero in on author of ‘resistance’ op-ed: reports

White House aims to zero in on author of ‘resistance’ op-ed: reports
White House aims to zero in on author of ‘resistance’ op-ed: reports

Among them was Fox News host Sean Hannity, who spoke about the “deep state actors” on his show on Wednesday.

“Whoever this anonymous superpatriot is who wrote the anti-Trump hit piece The New York Times I would argue dangerously published,” Hannity said, “is nothing more than a swamp sewer creature who can’t stand that there is a new sheriff in town.”

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WATCH: In rare anonymous NYT op-ed, senior Trump official details White House ‘resistance’ movement

Sebastian Gorka, a former Trump adviser also echoed similar sentiments on the news network.

“For a year and a half, we’ve been talking about the deep state, the deep state, the deep state, and CNN and everybody else says it’s bogus, it doesn’t exist,” Gorka said.

But University of Toronto politics professor Nelson Wiseman noted that there’s no real evidence of a deep state from this op-ed.

Wiseman said a deep state typically consists of members from a government agency or the military — not someone the president appointed himself, as the term “senior White House official” suggests.

WATCH: Trump avoids question whether op-ed is treason, says he may sit for Mueller interview

Trump avoids question whether op-ed is treason, says he may sit for Mueller interview
Trump avoids question whether op-ed is treason, says he may sit for Mueller interview

“When I think about the deep state, I think about the permanent civil service,” he said. “You can’t be a senior official unless Trump has appointed you.”

The writer of the op-ed could have history in civil service or the military, Wiseman noted, but it’s impossible to know until the identity is revealed.

He also said the op-ed writer says they are trying to help the government succeed.

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READ MORE: What forensic linguists say about the mystery author of New York Times op-ed

The criticisms made of Trump are also not necessarily new as similar ones have been made before, most recently this week in excerpts of journalist Bob Woodward’s book, Fear: Trump in the White House.

“I didn’t find that much new in it, expect that someone was actually writing it up,” Wiseman said.

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While deep state theory supporters are using the op-ed to back their claims, the professor also suggested it won’t mean much in the long-term when it comes to support.

WATCH: U.S. President Donald Trump is on the offensive over that anonymous op-ed from an insider in his administration. As Jackson Proskow reports, Trump is calling for the justice department to investigate. 

Trump demands Sessions hunt for author of anonymous op-ed
Trump demands Sessions hunt for author of anonymous op-ed
“People have said [other controversies] are really going to hurt Trump, and then I looked at the polls and I noticed it didn’t make much difference,” Wiseman said.

He said he expects that to be the case this time, too.

WATCH: Is the anonymous author of a New York Times Trump Op-Ed a traitor or a patriot?

Is the anonymous author of a New York Times Trump Op-Ed a traitor or a patriot?
Is the anonymous author of a New York Times Trump Op-Ed a traitor or a patriot?
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