After the New York Times published an anonymous op-ed authored by a “senior official” in the Trump administration, the internet got started on one of the things it does best: straight-up speculation.

A primary contender for the mysterious author was Vice President Mike Pence, whose previous utterances of the term "lodestar," which also appeared in the column, was seen by some as a giveaway. But then others pointed out that Defense Secretary Jim Mattis had previously written the phrase "first principles," another term which appears in the op-ed.

Both were solid arguments, given that we have almost nothing to go on.

But there are many, many, senior officials in the Trump administration, and people had many, many more theories as to who wrote the op-ed. So Michael Kalenderian took a look at some other favorite — and not so favorite — contenders.

This segment originally aired September 6, 2018 on VICE News Tonight on HBO.