James Dao, who runs the Times op-ed page, told CNN he received the article through an intermediary several days ago, calling the timing of piece's publication and the Woodward book "a coincidence".
Members of his administration and inner circle from the vice-president downwards have been lining up to condemn the column and deny authorship.
In his first major political speech since leaving the White House, former president Barack Obama denounced Trump's response to the article, as part of a wider rebuke of his successor's behaviour and agenda.More news: Amazon temporarily became a $1 trillion company
White House aides and Washington journalists have scrambled to find the author but it remains a mystery.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo spoke on the issue during his visit to India. Some people online also made jokes about or theorized about whether Melania Trump herself could possibly be the anonymous writer, although there is no evidence of that.
The opinion piece says that Trump's staff often takes action to block the president from action.
On Twitter, Trump charged "The Deep State and the Left, and their vehicle, the Fake News Media, are going insane - & they don't know what to do".
"But it didn't accomplish anything, because Trump's base could care less, the president could care less".More news: NFL Backs Nike’s Colin Kaepernick Ad
The nytimes should be ashamed and so should the person who wrote the false, illogical, and gutless op-ed. "It is laughable to think this could come from the secretary", spokesman Tony Sayegh said on Twitter.
Second, Trump and his press secretary, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, were teed off that the op-ed writer chose not to sign the piece. "We did not. From the beginning of our tenure, we have insisted that the entire IC remain focused on our mission to provide the President and policymakers with the best intelligence possible", Coats said.
Trump reiterated that it was a "disgrace" that the Times would publish the piece.
Anonymous officials who have been quoted in previous news reports have often been identified as "a senior White House official", which narrows the scope to people working specifically for the White House - instead of the broad number of agencies within the Trump administration, such as the Department of Education.More news: Tropical Storm Gordon: What to expect in Alabama