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Miles Taylor, the former Department of Homeland Security chief of staff under President Trump, endorsed Joe Biden for president in a video funded by Republican Voters Against Trump.

Why it matters: Taylor's blistering criticism of Trump adds to the chorus of former top administration officials who have spoken out against the president after leaving office — most notably former national security adviser John Bolton and former Defense Secretary James Mattis.

Driving the news: Taylor alleged that Trump sought to stop the Federal Emergency Management Agency from sending wildfire relief funds to California because "he was so rageful that people in the state of California didn't support him, and that politically it wasn't a base for him."

  • Taylor also claimed that Trump wanted to restart the "zero tolerance" policy that led to family separation at the U.S.-Mexico border in 2018, and wanted to go even further by having a "deliberate policy of ripping children away from their parents" in order to deter illegal immigration.

What he's saying: "What we saw week in and week out, and for me after two and a half years in that administration, was terrifying. We would go in to try to talk to him about a pressing national security issue: A cyberattack, terrorism threat. He wasn't interested in those things."

  • "The president wanted to exploit the Department of Homeland Security for his own political purposes and to fuel his own agenda."
  • "A lot of times the things he wanted to do not only were impossible but in many cases illegal. He didn't want us to tell him it was illegal anymore because he knew, and these were his words, he knew that he had 'magical authorities.' He was one of the most unfocused and undisciplined senior executives I've ever encountered."
  • "I came away completely convinced based on firsthand experience that the president was ill-equipped, wouldn't become equipped to do his job effectively and what's worse, was actively doing damage to our security."

The bottom line: "Even though I'm not a Democrat, even though I disagree on key issues, I'm confident that Joe Biden will protect the country, and I'm confident he won't make the same mistakes as this president," Taylor said.

The other side: In an interview with CNN on Monday, White House senior adviser Jared Kushner called Taylor a "nice kid" but suggested that he was ineffective in his job.

  • "It makes a lot of sense to me that he's endorsing Joe Biden because when he was working at the Department of Homeland Security, no wall was built and the border was wide open. That's why the president changed up the team there," Kushner said.

Go deeper: The top Republicans who aren't voting for Trump in 2020

Go deeper

Updated Dec 7, 2020 - Politics & Policy

The top Republicans who have acknowledged Biden as president-elect

Photo: Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images

Some elected Republicans are breaking ranks with President Trump to acknowledge that President-elect Biden won the 2020 presidential election.

Why it matters: The relative sparsity of acknowledgements highlights Trump's lasting power in the GOP, as his campaign moves to file multiple lawsuits alleging voter fraud in key swing states — despite the fact that there have been no credible allegations of any widespread fraud anywhere in the U.S.

Updated Nov 25, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Trump gives Biden access to presidential intelligence briefings

Photo: Mark Makela/Getty Images

The Trump White House on Tuesday gave President-elect Biden access to daily presidential intelligence briefings, a source familiar with the matter tells Axios.

Why it matters: Trump has refused to share the briefs until now, as he continues to challenge the result of the election and declines to concede. The president's acquiescence comes as another sign that the transition to a Biden administration is taking place.

Biden introduces top national security team

President-elect Joe Biden's nominee for Secretary of State Antony Blinken spoke Tuesday at an event introducing the incoming administration's top national security officials, where he told the story of his stepfather being the only one of 900 children at his school in Poland to survive the Holocaust.

What they're saying: "At the end of the war, he made a break from a death march into the woods in Bavaria. From his hiding place, he heard a deep rumbling sound. It was a tank. But instead of the iron cross, he saw painted on its side a five pointed white star," Blinken said.