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

Mike Allen, author of AM
Oct 23, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Trump-Biden venom on display during final debate

Photos: Brendan Smialowski/AFP via Getty Images; Jim Watson/AFP via Getty Images

Joe Biden twice referred to President Trump as "this guy," and Trump called the former vice president's family "like a vacuum cleaner" for foreign money.

Why it matters: The personal venom — during Thursday's final presidential debate, in Nashville — was a reminder that even during a more normal debate, nothing this year is normal.

Finally, a real debate

Photo: Morry Gash/AP

A more disciplined President Trump held back from the rowdy interruptions at tonight's debate in Nashville, while making some assertions so outlandish that Joe Biden chuckled and even closed his eyes. A Trump campaign adviser told Axios: "He finally listened." 

The result: A real debate.

The final debate

Trump and Biden at the first debate. Morry Gash-Pool/Getty Image

Watch for President Trump to address Joe Biden as “the big guy” or “the chairman” at tonight's debate as a way of dramatizing the Hunter Biden emails. Hunter's former business partner Tony Bobulinski is expected to be a Trump debate guest.

The big picture: Trump's advisers universally view the first debate as a catastrophe — evidenced by a sharp plunge in Trump’s public and (more convincingly for them) private polling immediately following the debate.