WASHINGTON – Miles Taylor, the former Chief of Staff at the Department of Homeland Security, was the anonymous author of an editorial in the New York Times in 2018 that described President Trump as “reckless, hostile, petty, and ineffective” Washington and began the process of searching for his identity, Mr. Taylor asserted on Wednesday.
Mr. Taylor was also the anonymous author of “The Warning,” a book he wrote the following year that described the president as an “undisciplined” and “immoral” leader threatening the abuse of power the foundations of American democracy. He acknowledged that he is the author of the book and the opinion piece in an interview and in a three-page statement Posted on the Internet.
Mr. Taylor resigned from the Department of Homeland Security in June 2019, and announced his criticism of Mr. Trump last summer. He released a video before the Republican National Convention begins declaring the president unfit for the position, and endorses Joseph R Biden Jr., the Democratic candidate for the presidency.
But Mr. Taylor, who had repeatedly denied that he was anonymous, did not reveal himself as the author of the opinion article and book at the time. Mr. Taylor faced public criticism in August for the president He wrote on Twitter that he was “A rejected employee named Miles Taylor, whom I don’t know (never heard of before).”
The Times editorial pages are managed separately from the news section, which is not told who Anonymous is.
Mr. Taylor served for two years as senior aide to Kerstin Nielsen, Mr. Trump’s third homeland security secretary, writing in The Times that he was part of a cadre of officials around Mr. Trump who were quietly working “to frustrate parts of his agenda and his worst inclinations.”
As a senior administration official, Taylor often interacted with the president in the White House, particularly on issues related to immigration, cybersecurity and terrorism. He left the government after Ms Nielsen was fired and later became Google’s head of national security relations. He has been on personal leave from the company for the past several months after endorsing Mr. Biden and has been organizing other Republicans to campaign against Mr. Trump’s re-election.
More than two years ago, I published an anonymous opinion piece in the New York Times about Donald Trump’s precarious presidency, while I served under him. He responded with a short but expressive tweet: “TREASON?” Mr. Taylor wrote in his statement.
He added, “When I left the administration, I wrote a ‘warning,’ which is a personal study of the current commander in chief and a warning to voters that it wasn’t as bad as it seemed within the Trump administration – it was worse.” .
The revelation of Mr. Taylor’s identity is likely to renew controversy over his motives and raise questions about whether his position in the Trump administration is large enough to warrant the decisions of the Opinion Office of The Times and the book publisher to keep his identity secret. As the chief of staff of the Cabinet Secretary, Mr. Taylor was a senior political official in the sprawling administration, numbering 240,000, with frequent access to Mr. Trump and other senior White House officials.
At the time, The Times published the article with a note saying: “The Times is taking the rare step of publishing an anonymous op-ed. We did so at the request of the author, who is a senior Trump administration official whose identity we know and his job will be endangered by the revelations. This anonymously is the only way to provide an interesting perspective for our readers. “
Taylor’s decision to attack the president without revealing his identity in the Times article caused a sensation in Washington over its allegations about the president’s lack of personality and his inability to govern. In the book, Mr. Taylor described Mr. Trump as “a 12-year-old in an air traffic control tower, randomly pushing government buttons, and indifferent to planes that descend through the runway.”
Mr. Taylor’s article has had less impact over time, as a group of Trump administration officials simultaneously advanced with accompanying names to publicly criticize the president’s leadership and personality, including former Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis and Mr. Trump’s third national security. John R. Bolton. But Mr. Taylor’s article was among the first holes in the White House defense and led to lengthy speculation about the author’s identity, with readers pointing to specific passages in it as evidence of who the author was.
The White House is engaged in a lengthy hunt to determine who wrote the article. In the days following its publication, Mr. Trump announced that he wanted the attorney general at the time, Jeff Sessions, to find the writer, saying, “I would say Jeff should investigate the identity of the author of that article because I really believe it’s national security.”
In late November, the Department of Justice requested to know from the publisher of the upcoming book whether the author had violated any confidentiality agreements regarding confidential information.
Last year, the President described the writer of the Times newspaper article as a “sinister” bureaucrat and tweeted “Treeson?” In a statement before the book was published last year, Stephanie Gresham, the White House press secretary, described the author as a “coward” who wrote a “work of fiction” full of lies about the president.
Ms Gresham said, “Real authors communicate with their subjects to check facts – but this one hides, making this very essential part of being a true writer impossible.”
On Wednesday, Kylie McNani, the president’s current press secretary, described Mr. Taylor as a “low-profile and disaffected former employee,” adding that he was “a liar and coward who chose to remain anonymous on the job and leak on leadership. He was ineffective and incompetent during his tenure as chief of staff.” The Department of Homeland Security “.
“It is appalling that a low-ranking official was granted anonymity,” said Ms. McNani. “It is clear that The New York Times is bidding on Never-Winners and the Democrats.”
In the book, Mr. Taylor said he decided not to reveal his identity because he believed that revealing his identity would have allowed Mr. Trump and his allies to distract from the essence of his criticism against the President.
“I have decided to post this anonymously because this discussion is not about me,” wrote Mr. Taylor. “Removing my identity from the equation deprives him of an opportunity to distract. What will he do when there is no one attacking him, just an idea?”
In his Wednesday statement, Mr. Taylor acknowledged that “some people consider it doubtful that such serious charges will be imposed against an incumbent president under the guise of anonymity.” But he said his decision was justified.
Taylor wrote, “issuing my criticisms without attribution compelled the president to respond to them directly based on their merits or not responding to them at all, rather than causing them to be distracted by simple insults and insults.” I wanted to pay attention to the same arguments. At that time I asked him, “What will he do when no one is attacking him, just an idea?” We got the answer. Became mixed. Ideas were standing on her feet. “
“We are taking seriously our obligations to protect sources,” said Daniel Rhodes-Ha, a spokeswoman for the Times.
She added, “Many important stories in sensitive areas such as politics, national security and business cannot be covered if our journalists violate this trust. However, in this case, the author personally waived our consent to keep his anonymity. We can confirm that he is the author of Anonymous’s editorial.” We are not planning to comment further. “
The book’s publisher, Sean Desmond of Twelve Books, said in a statement that the company is proud of the book, which he said, “Every day seems more and more insightful.”
He added, “Miles Taylor has been a wonderful publishing partner and we support him and the real political courage required to tell his story.”
The publisher said Mr. Taylor refused to take any down payment for his writing, and pledged to donate a large portion of any royalties to nonprofits, including the White House Correspondents Association, a membership organization for journalists covering the president’s work.
The book topped the New York Times bestseller list for the week of December 8.
Mr. Taylor joined the Trump administration in 2017 and eventually served as Ms. Nielsen’s deputy chief of staff before his promotion in 2018. Previously, he served for two years on the House Homeland Security Committee, serving as aide to Republican Representative Michael McCall. Texas, who was the chair of the committee at the time.
As a senior adviser to Mrs. Nielsen, Mr. Taylor was part of the administration during some of the most controversial decisions in the first three years of Mr. Trump’s rule, including the ban on travel from Muslim-majority countries and the decision to separate immigrant children. From their parents at the border and efforts to return asylum seekers.
His role in those events sparked protests among Google employees when the company announced his appointment. At least one petition by Google called for the dismissal of Mr. Taylor and described him as “complicit in helping Nielsen tear apart thousands of immigrant families”.
Mr. Taylor also witnessed several clashes between Mrs. Nielsen and Mr. Trump as the President demanded tougher measures to remove immigrants from the United States. Nielsen’s resistance to some of Mr Trump’s demands – including closing the border with Mexico and shooting people illegally crossing the border in the legs – ultimately led to her being separated.