(CNN) — The anonymous high-ranking Trump administration official who wrote an opinion piece in 2018 in The New York Times and then a book critical of the president is Miles Taylor, he revealed in a statement to CNN on Wednesday.
Taylor, who was chief of staff for the Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, Kirstjen Nielsen, wrote a extensive statement explaining why he wrote the 2018 opinion piece declaring he was part of the “resistance” within the Trump administration working to thwart the president’s worst leanings. Taylor said he wanted to force Trump to respond to the allegations without being able to specifically target the messenger. Trump called the opinion piece treason.
“Much has been made of the fact that these writings were published anonymously. The decision was not easy, I struggled with it, and I understand why some people find it questionable to bring such serious charges against a sitting president under the cover of anonymity. But my reasoning was clear and I stand by it, ”Taylor wrote.
“Issuing my criticisms without attribution forced the president to answer them directly on their merits or not answer them at all, instead of creating distractions through small insults and nicknames,” added Taylor. “I wanted the focus to be on the arguments themselves,” he added.
Taylor joined CNN as a contributor in September 2020.
He had previously denied being “Anonymous”. When CNN’s Anderson Cooper asked him in August if he had written the op-ed and book, Taylor said: “Anderson, I wear a mask for two things: Halloweens and pandemics. So no”.
Miles Taylor ends a Washington mystery
Taylor’s statement solves one of the biggest mysteries of the Trump presidency. Trump angrily responded to the op-ed when it was written in 2018 and urged then Attorney General Jeff Sessions to investigate the matter. There was internal hunt at the White House to discover the identity of the author. And gave rise to months of conversation in Washington trying to guess who was behind the op-ed through speech patterns and phrases used.
A year later, Miles Taylor published a book titled “A Warning” (An advert), which included new details critics of the president from within the Trump administration. He wrote that members of Trump’s team considered sabotaging him to incite him to resign. And that many government officials kept their own resignation letters on their desks or on their laptops.
Since leaving the Trump administration in 2019, Taylor back to Democrat Joe Biden in August and was the co-founder of a Republican group that opposes Trump.
“I am a Republican and I wanted this president to succeed,” Taylor said in his statement Wednesday. “But too often in times of crisis, Donald Trump has shown himself to be a man without character, and his personal flaws have resulted in leadership failures so significant that they can be measured in the loss of American lives,” he added.
The White House has been critical of Taylor since he endorsed Biden. Trump called him a “disgruntled employee.”
The White House reacts to the revelation
White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany said in a statement Wednesday after Taylor’s identity was revealed that “this disgruntled, low-level former employee is a liar and coward who chose anonymity over action and filtration instead of leadership.
“It is appalling that a low-ranking official is granted anonymity and it is clear that The New York Times he’s doing what the ‘Never-Trumpers’ (Republicans opposing Trump) and the Democrats say, “McEnany said.
Taylor said he was hopeful that more people within the administration would speak out against Trump. And he noted that various high-ranking officials have done it in different ways since leaving the administration.
“I witnessed Trump’s inability to do his job over the course of two and a half years in the administration. All saw it, although most were hesitant to speak out for fear of retaliation, “Taylor wrote.
In the 2018 op-ed, titled “I’m Part of the Resistance Within the Trump Administration,” Taylor wrote anonymously that “many of the high-ranking officials in his own administration are working diligently from within to thwart parts of his agenda and its worst inclinations.
But Miles Taylor said the original claim was wrong.
“The country cannot depend on well-meaning bureaucrats who were not elected and who are around the president to steer him to the right thing,” Taylor said Wednesday. “He has purged most of them anyway,” he added.
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