Anonymous Trump critic revealed to be ex-homeland security chief of staff

Joan E Greve
·2 min read
<span>Photograph: Justin Lane/EPA</span>
Photograph: Justin Lane/EPA

The identity of Anonymous, a Trump official who claimed there was a “a quiet resistance” within the administration working to save America in a 2018 New York Times op-ed, has been revealed as Miles Taylor, a former chief of staff at the Department of Homeland Security.

The penning of the article, and a subsequent book on the same theme, sparked a slew of media coverage and wild Washington speculation as to the identity of the author. It also angered Donald Trump and many of his top officials, who launched a frantic and unsuccessful hunt for the mole throughout the White House staff and beyond.

In a statement Taylor said: “I am a Republican, and I wanted this president to succeed.” But he added: “But too often in times of crisis, Donald Trump has proven he is a man without character, and his personal defects have resulted in leadership failures so significant that they can be measured in lost American lives.”

Kirstjen Nielsen, then secretary of homeland security, and Miles Taylor, then homelands security chief of staff, on 27 March 2018.
Kirstjen Nielsen, then secretary of homeland security, and Miles Taylor, then homelands security chief of staff, on 27 March 2018. Photograph: Tim Godbee/AP

He went on to urge people to vote for Joe Biden and admitted that one of the guiding principles behind his op-ed had been mistaken. “The country cannot rely on well-intentioned, unelected bureaucrats around the president to steer him towards right. He has purged most of them anyway,” Taylor wrote.

Taylor left the Trump administration in 2019, and went public with his criticism of the president in August, with an ad from the group Republican Voters Against Trump, in which he endorsed Biden. In the ad, Taylor accused Trump of trying to “exploit the Department of Homeland Security for his own political purposes and to fuel his own agenda”.

Taylor said in the ad: “Given what I experienced in the administration, I have to support Joe Biden for president.”

In response to the revelation, the Trump campaign issued a typically aggressive statement. “This is the least impressive, lamest political ‘reveal’ of all time. I worked with DHS officials while I was in the White House, and even I had to research who Miles Taylor was. He’s just another standard-issue arrogant, Washington, DC swamp bro who loved President Trump until he figured out he could try to make money by attacking him,” said Hogan Gidley, the campaign’s national press secretary.