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Trump says ex-staffer who penned 'Anonymous' op-ed should be 'prosecuted'

President TrumpDonald John TrumpAppeals court OKs White House diverting military funding to border wall construction Pentagon: Tentative meeting between spy agencies, Biden transition set for early next week Conservative policy director calls Section 230 repeal an 'existential threat' for tech MORE on Wednesday lashed out at former Department of Homeland Security (DHS) official Miles Taylor, dismissing the author of an anonymous New York Times op-ed criticizing him as a “low-level staffer” and a “sleazebag.”

Trump also said Taylor should be “prosecuted” for penning the op-ed. 

“It turned out to be a low-level staffer, a sleazebag, who has never worked in the White House," Trump said at a rally in Goodyear, Ariz., reacting to the news that Taylor, who has been publicly critical of Trump since he left the administration, had revealed himself as the author behind the September 2018 Times op-ed and subsequent book.

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"Anonymous was a nobody, a disgruntled employee who was quickly removed from his job a long time ago for, they tell me, incompetence,” Trump told the crowd.

Trump mused that he thought the author of the op-ed could have been Hope HicksHope Charlotte HicksWomen set to take key roles in Biden administration President says Trump Jr. doing 'very well' after COVID-19 diagnosis Donald Trump Jr. tests positive for COVID-19 MORE or his son-in-law Jared KushnerJared Corey KushnerMary Trump doesn't think Trump will run in 2024 Trump pardon scandal would doom his 2024 campaign Enforcing the Presidential Records Act is essential for preserving our democracy's transparency, history MORE, two of his senior aides, or Sens. Mike LeeMichael (Mike) Shumway LeeGovernment used Patriot Act to gather website visitor logs in 2019 Grassley returns to Capitol after having coronavirus McConnell halts in-person Republican lunches amid COVID-19 surge MORE (R-Utah) or Rand PaulRandal (Rand) Howard PaulOvernight Defense: Lawmakers release compromise defense bill in defiance of Trump veto threat | Senate voting next week on blocking UAE arms sale | Report faults lack of training, 'chronic fatigue' in military plane crashes Senate to vote next week on blocking Trump's UAE arms sale McConnell in tough position as House eyes earmark return MORE (R-Ky.), both of whom were in the audience.

“This guy is a low-level low life,” Trump said. “I have no idea who he is.”

“He worked with the — listen to this — the fake news New York Times, and he is an employee of Google, he works for Google,” Trump continued. “The whole thing was just one more giant hoax from the Washington swamp and a corrupt special interest group. I’ll tell you what. This guy, in my opinion, he should be prosecuted.”

The president’s remarks prompted loud chants of “drain the swamp” from the crowd.

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Taylor, who served at DHS from 2017 to 2019 and for a period of time was former DHS Secretary Kirstjen NielsenKirstjen Michele Nielsen'Anonymous' whistleblower Miles Taylor changing locations, employing private security after death threats Biden picks first Latino to lead Homeland Security Judge says acting DHS secretary appointment unlawful, invalidates DACA suspension MORE’s chief of staff, revealed in a Medium post on Wednesday that he penned the op-ed that prompted buzz around Washington when it was published in September 2018. Taylor left the administration last year and has been sharply critical of the president, offering damaging firsthand accounts of his time in the administration and Trump’s behavior. He has endorsed Democratic nominee Joe BidenJoe BidenAppeals court OKs White House diverting military funding to border wall construction Federal student loan payment suspension extended another month Pentagon: Tentative meeting between spy agencies, Biden transition set for early next week MORE for president.

"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 wrote Wednesday.

"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 wrote.

The revelation puts to rest a lingering question in Washington as to the anonymous author’s identity. White House aides were quick to dismiss Taylor when he revealed he penned the op-ed.