Ex-DHS official reveals himself as ‘Anonymous’


Miles Taylor, a former Department of Homeland Security (DHS) official, revealed on Wednesday that he was the anonymous author behind a New York Times op-ed and subsequent book criticizing President Trump’s character from the perspective of a staffer inside the administration.

“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, who left the administration last year, wrote in a Medium post.

“So when I left the Administration I wrote A Warning, a character study of the current Commander in Chief and a caution to voters that it wasn’t as bad as it looked inside the Trump Administration — it was worse,” he continued.

Taylor has been public about his criticism of Trump for months, and even endorsed Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden earlier this year. He served in the Department of Homeland Security from 2017-2019, a stint that included time as chief of staff to former DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen.

During his time in the administration, DHS oversaw the zero tolerance policy at the southern border that led to the separation of thousands of migrant children from their families. The practice prompted bipartisan outcry and was eventually halted, but advocates say hundreds of children still have not been reunited with their parents.

Taylor’s criticisms on Wednesday largely focused on Trump’s character and treatment of the country’s institutions, however, and he urged other Republicans to join him in speaking out.

“Although former Vice President Joe Biden is likely to pursue progressive reforms that conservatives oppose (and rest assured, we will challenge them in the loyal opposition), his policy agenda cannot equal the damage done by the current President to the fabric of our Republic,” Taylor wrote.

The anonymous official became something of a Washington sensation following the publication of the Times op-ed in September 2018 in which the author, identified only as a senior administration official in the Trump administration, described coordinated efforts from staff to “thwart” the president’s worst instincts and bemoaned Trump’s “amorality.”

The White House pledged to look into the person’s identity to attempt to root them out while top administration officials distanced themselves from the opinion piece. The anonymous individual faded back into obscurity until late last year, when they published a book titled “A Warning.”

But Taylor, while still anonymous, came under scrutiny when the book was announced as many critics questioned why the author still insisted on remaining anonymous while government officials went on the record to testify during impeachment hearings against Trump.

“Much has been made of the fact that these writings were published anonymously,” Taylor wrote Wednesday. “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,” he continued. “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.”

Taylor had denied in August that he was the anonymous official.

White House officials mocked Taylor’s revelation, dismissing his importance in the administration and accusing him of pursuing publicity. Others were critical of The New York Times for granting Taylor anonymity given his role at the time.

“This low-level, disgruntled former staffer is a liar and a coward who chose anonymity over action and leaking over leading,” press secretary Kayleigh McEnany said in a statement, calling it “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.”

“I rolled my eyes so hard I nearly tipped backwards,” communications director Alyssa Farah tweeted. “To paraphrase Andy Warhol: In the future, everyone will be a Senior Admin Officials for 15 minutes.”

“What an absolute loser,” tweeted Ben Williamson, a top aide to White House chief of staff Mark Meadows.

–Updated at 4:08 p.m.

Tags A Warning Anonymous Donald Trump Joe Biden Kirstjen Nielsen Mark Meadows Miles Taylor New York Times anonymous op-ed

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