Oct 28, 2020 - Politics & Policy

"Anonymous" senior Trump official revealed as ex-DHS chief of staff Miles Taylor

Miles Taylor
Miles Taylor in a Republican Voters Against Trump ad. Screenshot via YouTube

Former Department of Homeland Security chief of staff Miles Taylor on Wednesday publicly claimed to be the author of the anonymous New York Times op-ed that described a "resistance" within the Trump administration working to thwart President Trump's agenda.

Why it matters: Taylor already publicly endorsed Joe Biden in a video funded by Republican Voters Against Trump in August, accusing the president of wanting to "exploit the Department of Homeland Security for his own political purposes and to fuel his own agenda."

  • The highly anticipated reveal of who wrote the 2018 op-ed — which infuriated the president and prompted him to demand a high-priority leak investigation — comes just six days before Election Day.
  • Taylor was the chief of staff to an agency that oversaw the Trump administration's controversial family separation policy. Parents for at least 545 of the migrant children affected by the policy still have not been found, per the New York Times.
  • Taylor wrote the op-ed in September 2018 and resigned in April 2019.

What's new: Taylor said he was "wrong" about one point in his op-ed in his Wednesday announcement.

  • "The country cannot rely on well-intentioned, unelected bureaucrats around the President to steer him toward what’s right. He has purged most of them anyway. Nor can they rely on Congress to deliver us from Trump’s wayward whims."
  • "The people themselves are the ultimate check on the nation’s chief executive," he said.

Worth noting: In August, Taylor denied to CNN — a network where he is now a contributor — that he was the author of the op-ed.

The big picture: Many former Trump administration officials and close associates have publicly spoken out against the president and released "tell-all" books, accusing Trump of abuses that include politicizing the Justice Department and prioritizing his own re-election when dealing with foreign leaders.

What they're saying: New York Times spokesperson Danielle Rhoades Ha confirmed that Taylor wrote the 2018 op-ed in a statement on Wednesday.

  • In 2018, the Times said in a statement alongside the op-ed that it was "incredibly proud to have published this piece, which adds significant value to the public's understanding of what is going on in the Trump administration from someone who is in a position to know."
  • White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany labeled Taylor a "low-level, disgruntled former staffer" — a characterization it has used before on former officials and staffers who have spoken out against the president — and said Taylor "is a liar and a coward who chose anonymity over action."
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