John Bolton abandoned his unofficial role as Washington’s most hated man and handed over the torch to Miles Taylor just six days before the election.
Taylor, a former Department of Homeland Security official who served as chief of staff to former DHS secretary Kirstjen Nielsen, revealed himself on Wednesday as the anonymous author of a 2018 New York Times op-ed and the 2019 book A Warning.
Both were critical of the president and described a “resistance” within a dysfunctional administration that sought to undermine Trump’s actions.
Taylor’s rapid exclusion on Twitter from both the political left and the right was reminiscent of the saga that unfolded after excerpts from an exposé book by Bolton, Trump’s former national security adviser, were unveiled in June, more than four months after the Senate acquitted Trump of two articles of impeachment. Both sides of the aisle suspected that Taylor was motivated by book sales.
Few people have succeeded as well as Bolton and Taylor in bringing together some of the nation’s most divided politicians.
Republicans, Conservatives and Trump officials describe Taylor as a “lowly, disgruntled former employee” who lacked credibility for a long time, much like Bolton. Taylor has been an outspoken critic of Trump for months and joined CNN in September as a commentator.
White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany described Taylor as “a liar and a coward who preferred anonymity to action and preferred leakage to leadership. Trump campaign spokesman Hogan Gidley said: “This is the least impressive, lamest political ‘revelation’ of all time.
“I rolled my eyes so tight that I almost tilted backwards,” White House Communications Director Alyssa Farah wrote on Twitter. “To paraphrase Andy Warhol: In the future, everyone will be a senior admin official for 15 minutes”.
Taylor joined the Trump administration in 2017 and was Nielsen’s Deputy Chief of Staff. He later became their Chief of Staff in 2018 before stepping down in 2019.
Republicans, Democrats and some media criticized The Times for allowing Taylor to be named only as a “senior civil servant” in his Op-ed 2018, and the editor of his book for giving him the same title. At the time of Op-ed, Taylor was not chief of staff – a role he later held for only a few months – and they argued that even a top DHS official was too far from the president to be considered such a senior official.
Matt Whitlock, a senior advisor to the National Republican Senate Committee, tweeted that Taylor’s revelation was like the episode “The Office” in which “Michael promises everyone that he will reward them with a big surprise, and shows up with ice cream sandwiches and everyone is furious”.
Taylor was equally frustrated with Democrats, progressives and anti-trump cards, who called Taylor a coward on Twitter because he had only revealed himself so close to the election. They emphasized that Taylor’s term of office for Nielsen also included a period when the government faced a severe setback for the controversial policy of child separation, which broke apart thousands of migrant families who illegally crossed the southern border.
The Times reported last week that more than 500 of these migrant children remain separated from their parents because officials are still unable to locate the adults.
“[email protected] is not a hero,” said Reed Galen, co-founder of the anti-trump group The Lincoln Project, which Taylor used in an ad. “He sat in these rooms, in these power councils, and let the banality of evil work its way across America. Heroism is not silence until it is convenient and personally beneficial to stand up.
Sawyer Hackett, a former senior adviser to Democratic Julian Castro’s presidential candidacy, wrote: “It turned out to be the same asshole who helped Nielsen push through family separation without a word of protest. Spare us your holy-as-you-are bullshit”.
“I have a question for you, @MilesTaylorUSA,” said Walter Shaub, the former head of the U.S. Office of Government Ethics under Obama and Trump. “After you left the government, did you do all the writing for your book? Or did you start working on it while you were still in the government?”
As he made his attitude toward Trump increasingly clear in various interviews over the past months, Taylor lied to Reporters when asked if he was the “anonymous” author. He denied this thought to both Vice News and CNN.
âI wear a mask for two things, Anderson: Halloween and pandemics. So, no,” said @MilesTaylorUSA when asked by @AndersonCooper if he is the author of the op-ed book written by someone named Anonymous. pic.twitter.com/sPjs4OoAnp
– CNN Newsroom (@CNNnewsroom) August 21, 2020
Taylor made his revelation in a long blog post, writing that others “witnessed Trump’s inability to do his job” but that “most hesitated to speak out for fear of reprisals.
In other words, “Trump’s own lieutenants were alarmed by his instability,” Taylor wrote.
Trump responded to the message in two tweets, asking who Taylor was.
“Who is Miles Taylor? He said he was “anonymous,” but I don’t know him – never heard of him. Just another @nytimes SCAM – he worked with them. He also worked for Big Tech’s @Google. Now works for Fake News @CNN,” wrote the president. “You should see everyone…… who is connected with this fraud against the American people, dismiss, shame and punish!
Taylor went on to admit in his blog posting that his original op-ed contained a certain allegation that turned out to be untrue.
“The country cannot rely on well-meaning, unelected bureaucrats around the president to steer him toward the right course,” Taylor wrote. “He has cleared most of them up anyway. Nor can they rely on Congress to rid us of Trump’s idiosyncratic whims.
“The people themselves are the ultimate control over the nation’s leader,” he added….