Miles Taylor, a Former Homeland Safety Official, Reveals He Was ‘Nameless’
WASHINGTON – Miles Taylor, former Department of Homeland Security chief of staff, was the anonymous author of the 2018 New York Times Op-Ed article describing President Trump as “boisterous, controversial, petty and ineffective” Washington and Washington Washington upset Mr Taylor went looking for his identity, Mr Wednesday confirmed on Wednesday.
Mr. Taylor was also the anonymous author of “A Warning,” a book he wrote the following year that described the president as an “undisciplined” and “amoral” leader whose abuse of power threatened the very foundations of American democracy. In an interview and a three-page statement he posted online, he admitted to being both the author of the book and the opinion piece.
Mr Taylor resigned from the Department of Homeland Security in June 2019 and went public last summer criticizing Mr Trump. Shortly before the start of the Republican National Convention, he posted a video declaring the president unsuitable for office and advocating Joseph R. Biden Jr., the Democratic presidential candidate.
But 33-year-old Taylor, who repeatedly denied being anonymous, did not reveal himself to be the author of the opinion piece and book at the time.
On Wednesday, Mr Trump claimed not to know who Mr Taylor is, despite numerous pictures of the President in meetings with Mr Taylor.
“Who is Miles Taylor? He said he was “anonymous”, but I don’t know him – I’ve never heard of him, “wrote Trump on Twitter. “Just another @nytimes scam – he worked with you. Also worked for @Google from Big Tech. Now works for Fake News @CNN. You should fire, shame, and punish anyone involved in this scam against the American people! “
The Times Op-Ed pages are maintained separately from the news department, which has never been told Anonymous’s identity.
Mr. Taylor was a top advisor to Kirstjen Nielsen, third Homeland Security Secretary to Mr. Trump for two years, and wrote in The Times that he was part of a cadre of officials around Mr. Trump who were working quietly to “frustrate parts of his.” Agenda and its worst inclinations. “
As a senior administration officer, Mr. Taylor interacted frequently with the President of the White House, particularly on immigration, cybersecurity and terrorism issues. He left the government after Ms. Nielsen was fired and later became head of national security relations for Google. He has been on personal vacation for the past few months after supporting Mr Biden and has been organizing other Republicans to fight against Mr Trump’s re-election.
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“More than two years ago, I published an anonymous statement in the New York Times about Donald Trump’s dangerous presidency while I was serving under him. He responded with a short but meaningful tweet: ‘TREASON?’ “Wrote Mr. Taylor in his statement.
“When I left the administration I wrote ‘A Warning’, a character study of the current commander in chief and a warning to voters that it wasn’t as bad as it looked in the Trump administration – it was worse,” he added .
The disclosure of Mr. Taylor’s identity is likely to renew the debate about his motives and raise questions about whether his position in the Trump administration was senior enough to warrant the decisions of the Times opinion desk and the book’s editor to keep his identity secret hold. As chief of staff to a cabinet secretary, Mr. Taylor was a senior political officer in the sprawling department of 240,000 staff, with frequent access to Mr. Trump and other senior White House officials.
At that time, the Times published the paper with the comment: “The Times is taking the rare step of publishing an anonymous Op-Ed paper. We did this at the request of the author, a senior Trump administration official whose identity we know and whose work would be compromised if disclosed. We believe that publishing this essay anonymously is the only way to offer our readers an important perspective. “
Mr Taylor’s decision to anonymously attack the president in the Times article caused a stir in Washington, claiming the president had no character and was incapable of governing. In the book, Mr. Taylor described Mr. Trump as “a 12-year-old in an air traffic control tower indiscriminately pushing government buttons, indifferent to the planes sliding down the runway.”
Mr Taylor’s essay has had less impact over time as a number of former Trump administration officials have put forward names to publicly criticize the president’s leadership and character, including former Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis and the third National Security by Mr. Trump Adviser John R. Bolton. But Mr. Taylor’s paper was one of the earliest tears in the White House’s defense, and sparked continued speculation about the writer’s identity, with readers pointing out passages in it to prove who the author must have been.
The White House took a long search to find out who had written the article. In the days following its release, Mr. Trump stated that he wanted then Attorney General Jeff Sessions to find the writer, saying, “I would say Jeff should investigate who the author of this play is because I really believe it’s national security . “
Last November, the Justice Department wanted to know from the editor of the forthcoming book whether the author had breached any confidentiality agreements with regard to classified information.
The president called the author of the Times article a “gutless” bureaucrat last year and tweeted, “TREASON?” In a statement prior to the book’s release last year, Stephanie Grisham, then White House press secretary, called the author “a coward” who wrote a “work of fiction” full of lies about the president.
Oct. 28, 2020, 10:03 am ET
“Real writers turn to their subjects to check the facts – but that person is hiding and making this basic part of being a real writer impossible,” said Ms. Grisham.
On Wednesday, Kayleigh McEnany, the President’s current press secretary, called Mr. Taylor a “base, disgruntled former employee” adding that he was “a liar and a coward who chose anonymity over action and leadership. He was during his time ineffective and incompetent as DHS chief of staff. “
Ms. McEnany said that “it is appalling that anonymity should be granted to a low-ranking official, and it is clear that the New York Times is doing the bidding of Never-Trumpers and Democrats.”
In the book, Mr Taylor said he chose to remain anonymous because he believed that revealing his identity would have enabled Mr Trump and his allies to divert attention from the substance of the criticism he had directed against the president.
“I decided to post this anonymously because this debate is not about me,” wrote Taylor. “Removing my identity from the equation robs him of the ability to create a distraction. What will he do when there is no person to attack, just an idea? “
In his statement on Wednesday, Mr. Taylor admitted that “some people find it questionable to bring such serious charges against a seated president under the guise of anonymity.” But he said his decision was justified.
“Issuing my criticism without attribution forced the president to answer directly or not at all, rather than be distracted by minor insults and names,” wrote Taylor. “I wanted the attention to be drawn to the arguments themselves. At the time I asked, “What will he do when there is no person to attack, just an idea?” We got the answer. He got rid of it. And the ideas stood on their own two feet. “
Danielle Rhoades Ha, a spokeswoman for the Times, said in a statement: “We take our obligations to protect sources seriously.”
She added: “Many important stories in sensitive areas such as politics, national security and economics could never be reported if our journalists violated that trust. In this case, however, the author has personally waived our agreement to keep his identity confidential. We can confirm that he is the author of the Anonymous Op-Ed. We don’t intend to comment further. “
The book’s editor, Sean Desmond of Twelve Books, said in a statement that the company was proud of the book, which he said: “Every day seems to be getting more and more cautious.”
He added, “Miles Taylor has been a great publishing partner and we support him and the true act of political courage that was required to tell his story.”
The editor said Mr Taylor refused to prepay the letter and pledged to donate a large portion of the royalties to nonprofits, including the White House Correspondents Association, the membership organization for reporters who cover the president.
The book topped the New York Times bestseller list for the week of December 8th.
Mr Taylor joined the Trump administration in 2017 and eventually served as Ms Nielsen’s deputy chief of staff before being promoted in 2018. He previously served on the House Homeland Security Committee for two years and served as an advisor to Republican Representative Michael McCaul of Texas, who was the chairman of the committee at the time.
As one of Ms. Nielsen’s top advisors, Mr. Taylor was part of the administration during some of the most controversial decisions in Mr. Trump’s first three years in office, including the travel ban from predominantly Muslim countries and the decision to separate immigrant children from their parents at the Border and efforts to reject asylum seekers.
His role at these events sparked protests among Google employees when the company announced its termination. At least one petition called on Google to fire Mr Taylor, calling him “complicity in helping Nielsen tear apart thousands of immigrant families”.
Mr Taylor has also witnessed many clashes between Ms. Nielsen and Mr Trump when the President called for tougher measures to keep immigrants out of the United States. Ms. Nielsen’s opposition to some of Mr. Trump’s demands – including the closing of the border with Mexico and the shooting of people who illegally crossed the border in the legs to slow it down – eventually led to her release.