Ex-Trump official says U.S. ‘less secure’ due to president’s actions, endorses

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A former high-ranking Trump administration official said on Monday the United States is “less secure” under the Republican president as he endorsed Democratic challenger Joe Biden for November’s election.

FILE PHOTO: U.S. President Donald Trump arrives to addresss a briefing on the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic at the White House in Washington, U.S., August 13, 2020. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

Miles Taylor, who served at the Department of Homeland Security between 2017 and 2019, including as chief of staff, said he “witnessed the damning results firsthand” of what he called President Donald Trump’s “personal deficiencies.”

“I can attest that the country is less secure as a direct result of the president’s actions,” Taylor wrote in an op-ed published in the Washington Post on the day the Democrats kick off a four-day virtual convention to nominate Biden.

“Today the nation has fewer friends and stronger enemies than when Trump took office.”

In a statement to Reuters, White House Deputy Press Secretary Judd Deere called Taylor “another creature of the D.C. Swamp who never understood the importance of the President’s agenda or why the American people elected him and clearly just wants to cash-in.”

DHS did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Taylor is one of the most senior former Trump officials to endorse Biden, the former vice president who has a solid lead in most opinion polls for the Nov. 3 election. He called Trump’s presidency “dangerously chaotic.”

“Even though I’m not a Democrat, even though I disagree on key issues, I’m confident that Joe Biden will protect the country and I’m confident he won’t make the same mistakes as this president,” Taylor said in an ad to support Biden released on Monday by Republican Voters Against Trump, an anti-Trump advocacy group.

Trump’s “inappropriate and often absurd executive requests” meant DHS staffers were regularly taken away from dealing with genuine security concerns, Taylor said in his op-ed.

“One morning it might be a demand to shut off congressionally appropriated funds to a foreign ally that had angered him, and that evening it might be a request to sharpen the spikes atop the border wall so they’d be more damaging to human flesh,” Taylor wrote.

Reporting by Moira Warburton; Editing by Mary Milliken and Dan Grebler

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