The “deep state” is a conspiracy theory which suggests that collusion exists within the U.S. political system and a hidden government within the legitimately elected government.
The term “deep state” was a term was originally used to describe a shadow government in Turkey that disseminated propaganda and engaged in violence to undermine the governing party.
However, during President Donald Trump’s administration the term has come to refer to an organized resistance within the government, working to subvert Trump’s presidency. Trump allies blame career bureaucrats, many of whom they see as loyal to former President Barack Obama, for leaking damaging information to the news media.
A Washington Post article suggested that people close to Trump believe these longtime government workers amount to a “Deep State” that could undermine his presidency.
Rep. Steve King (R-IA) told the New York Times: “We are talking about the emergence of a Deep State led by Barack Obama, and that is something that we should prevent… I think it’s really the Deep State versus the president, the duly elected president.”
Former White House adviser David Gergen told Time magazine the term was appropriated by former Trump campaign manager Steve Bannon in order to delegitimize Trump’s critics.