A two-year Washington mystery finally ended Wednesday when Miles Taylor revealed that he had authored a previously anonymous op-ed published in 2018 declaring himself part of a secret “resistance” within the Trump administration.
The op-ed, which appeared in The New York Times, faced both praise from some of President TrumpDonald TrumpOhio Republican who voted to impeach Trump says he won't seek reelection Youngkin breaks with Trump on whether Democrats will cheat in the Virginia governor's race Trump endorses challenger in Michigan AG race MORE’s critics as well as its own criticism over the author’s insistence of anonymity and the claims made within the piece.
Among other things, the op-ed claimed that a number of senior administration officials were actively working behind the scenes to thwart “Mr. Trump’s more misguided impulses until he is out of office.”
“[M]any of the senior officials in his own administration are working diligently from within to frustrate parts of his agenda and his worst inclinations,” it continued.
The op-ed’s publication caused a furor in Washington, including denunciations from the White House and the president, who demanded on Twitter that the Times reveal Taylor’s identity.
Does the so-called “Senior Administration Official” really exist, or is it just the Failing New York Times with another phony source? If the GUTLESS anonymous person does indeed exist, the Times must, for National Security purposes, turn him/her over to government at once!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 5, 2018
Some Democrats at the time also criticized the op-ed’s author, with some arguing Taylor should have done more while others, including former President ObamaBarack Hussein Obama Obama backs Trudeau in Canadian election Former Sen. Heller to run for Nevada governor Overnight Energy & Environment — Presented by Climate Power — Senate Democrats ding Biden energy proposal MORE, warned that the actions were “undemocratic.”
“Anonymous” would strike again in November 2019 with the publication of “A Warning,” which further claimed that Cabinet officials had discussed the potential of removing Trump from office via the 25th Amendment, which would allow the vice president and a majority of Cabinet members to declare the president unfit for office.
Vice President Pence and other senior administration officials denied at the time that those discussions had ever taken place, but the book’s claims about Trump’s decisionmaking further fueled speculation about the identity of “Anonymous.”
That speculation came to an end Wednesday when rumors began circulating that day that the identity of “Anonymous” would be announced, and hours later Taylor’s identity was revealed in tweets from the Times’s Ben Smith and CNN anchor Jake TapperJacob (Jake) Paul TapperThe Hill's 12:30 Report - Presented by Facebook - DC prepares for Saturday of festivals & Jan. 6 demonstration Overnight Health Care — Nicki Minaj stokes uproar over vaccines Fauci responds to Nicki Minaj's vaccine worries MORE.
I hasten to add, by two sources, neither of whom works for @nytimes— Ben Smith (@benyt) October 28, 2020
Former DHS chief of staff @MilesTaylorUSA is the author of the NYT oped and book by “Anonymous” — more on CNN coming up— Jake Tapper (@jaketapper) October 28, 2020
Until late last year, Taylor served as chief of staff to former Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen NielsenKirstjen Michele NielsenEx-Trump official: 'No. 1 national security threat I've ever seen' is GOP Left-leaning group to track which companies hire former top Trump aides Rosenstein: Zero tolerance immigration policy 'never should have been proposed or implemented' MORE and the department’s current secretary, Chad WolfChad WolfSunday shows preview: States deal with fallout of Ida; Texas abortion law takes effect Biden, Trump battle over who's to blame for Afghanistan The border is shifting from a manufactured crisis to a national embarrassment MORE. During that time, the department faced heavy public criticism over its implementation of the Trump administration’s immigration policy, including provisions that mandated the separation of children from the parents of suspected undocumented immigrants awaiting prosecution for alleged illegal border entry.
He resigned from the administration in November 2019, and in subsequent months has publicly criticized the administration and the president. In August, he again made headlines with allegations that Trump had offered pardons to Department of Homeland Security employees who broke the law while carrying out his administration’s immigration policy. Around this time, he joined with dozens of other former national security officials to endorse former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenTrump endorses challenger in Michigan AG race On The Money: Democrats get to the hard part Health Care — GOP attorneys general warn of legal battle over Biden's vaccine mandate MORE’s (D) presidential campaign against Trump.
A month later, he would also tell The New York Times that Trump had attempted to rescind an order directing flags be lowered to half-staff following the death of Sen. John McCainJohn Sidney McCain20 years after 9/11, US foreign policy still struggles for balance What the chaos in Afghanistan can remind us about the importance of protecting democracy at home 'The View' plans series of conservative women as temporary McCain replacements MORE (R-Ariz.), with whom Trump had publicly feuded.
During one media appearance around this time, Taylor was questioned by CNN’s Anderson Cooper as to whether he had authored the 2018 op-ed, which Taylor denied at the time. During an interview with CNN’s Chris CuomoChris CuomoTucker Carlson says he lies when 'I'm really cornered or something' American describes being left behind in Kabul: 'I don't believe in anybody anymore' Chris Cuomo's revisionist history MORE on Wednesday, Taylor offered Cooper a “mea culpa.”
“I owe Anderson Cooper a beer, I owe him a mea culpa, and the same thing for other reporters who at the same time period asked me, 'Are you Anonymous?' and I said no," said Taylor, who added that he lied to allow his anonymous criticism to stand on its own.
The White House responded with sharp criticism for Taylor on Wednesday; White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany called Taylor a “low-level, disgruntled former staffer” as well as a “liar and a coward who chose anonymity over action and leaking over leading,” while her boss called on CNN to fire Taylor, who is a paid contributor at the network, and told a crowd at a campaign rally that Taylor should face prosecution.
“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 associated with this FRAUD on the American people!” Trump said in a series of tweets.
....associated with this FRAUD on the American people!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 28, 2020