The author of an anonymous 2018 New York Times op-ed that depicted President Trump as a danger to the nation whose destructive impulses were being thwarted by patriotic administration officials revealed his identity on Wednesday, more than two years later.
“Donald Trump is a man without character,” Miles Taylor, the former chief of staff at the Department of Homeland Security, said in a statement. “It’s time for everyone to step out of the shadows.”
When it published the op-ed — titled “I Am Part of the Resistance Inside the Trump Administration” — the Times described Taylor as “a senior official in the Trump administration.” Its publication set off a guessing game over its authorship, as senior administration officials scrambled to take their names off the list of suspects and Trump wondered aloud whether the writer should be prosecuted for treason.
Taylor left his post in September 2019 and wrote a similarly anonymous book, “A Warning.” He endorsed former Vice President Joe Biden earlier this year.
“Make no mistake: I am a Republican, and I wanted this President to succeed,” Taylor’s statement continued. “That’s why I came into the Administration with John Kelly, and it’s why I stayed on as Chief of Staff at the Department of Homeland Security. But too often in times of crisis, I saw Donald Trump prove he is a man without character, and his personal defects have resulted in leadership failures so significant that they can be measured in lost American lives. I witnessed Trump’s inability to do his job over the course of two-and-a-half years. Everyone saw it, though most were hesitant to speak up for fear of reprisals.”
Taylor said the sentiments expressed in his op-ed were “widely held among officials at the highest levels of the federal government” and that “Trump’s own lieutenants were alarmed by his instability.”
“Much has been made of the fact that these writings were published anonymously,” he added. “The decision wasn’t easy, I wrestled with it, and I understand why some people consider it questionable to levy such serious charges against a sitting President under the cover of anonymity. But my reasoning was straightforward, and I stand by it. Issuing my critiques without attribution forced the President to answer them directly on their merits or not at all, rather than creating distractions through petty insults and name-calling. I wanted the attention to be on the arguments themselves. At the time I asked, ‘What will he do when there is no person to attack, only an idea?’ We got the answer. He became unhinged. And the ideas stood on their own two feet.”
White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany responded to the “Anonymous” revelation in a statement calling Taylor a “low-level, disgruntled former staffer,” a “liar and a coward” and “an arrogant ‘deep state’ operative.”
“It is appalling a low-ranking official would be granted anonymity and it is clear the New York Times is doing the bidding of Never-Trumpers and Democrats,” McEnany added. “The American people elected President Trump to carry out his vision for the country, not an arrogant ‘deep state’ operative trying to put their agenda ahead of the president’s America First policies.”
Taylor was photographed next to the president in the Oval Office, but Trump, in a tweet, denied knowing him.
Who is Miles Taylor? Said he was “anonymous”, but I don’t know him – never even heard of him. Just another @nytimes SCAM – he worked in conjunction with them. Also worked for Big Tech’s @Google. Now works for Fake News @CNN. They should fire, shame, and punish everybody….
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 28, 2020
Taylor held senior positions in DHS from 2017 to June 2019, the last two months as chief of staff. In a video he released during the Republican National Convention, he said he resigned in protest of Trump’s offering to pardon federal officers who got into legal trouble for enforcing an illegal border shutdown.
During his time at DHS, Taylor served as the deputy chief of staff and then chief of staff to Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen during the height of the administration’s child separation policy at the border. According to reporting by BuzzFeed News, Taylor helped craft the department’s “Protecting Children Narrative” prior to leaving for a job at Google. The U.S. government has been unable to find the parents of at least 545 children following separations and deportations.
Christopher Wilson contributed reporting to this story.
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