WASHINGTON – Former senior Trump administration official Miles Taylor endorsed former Vice President Joe Biden for president on Monday. In doing so, he became one of the highest-ranking former officials from the Trump administration to back the presumptive Democratic nominee.
Taylor, who served as chief of staff to former Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen and a political appointee at the Department of Homeland Security from 2017 until he left in 2019, was featured in a video produced by the Republican Voters Against Trump, saying what he saw from President Donald Trump “was terrifying.”
Taylor continued to claim that when DHS staffers attempted to discuss issues of national security like a “cyberattack” or “terrorism threat” with the president, Trump “wasn’t interested in those things. … To him, they weren’t priorities.”
He also stated Trump would give what Taylor called illegal orders to the DHS and “didn’t want us to tell him it was illegal anymore because he knew that … he had ‘magical authorities.’”
The video followed an op-ed he wrote that was published in The Washington Post where Taylor called Trump “dangerous” for America, without mentioning whom he was voting for.
In the video, Taylor stated, “Given what I have experienced in the administration, I have to support Joe Biden for president. And even though I am not a Democrat, even though I disagree on key issues, I’m confident that Joe Biden will protect the country and I’m confident that he won’t make the same mistakes as this President.”
Taylor’s video endorsement and op-ed come on the first night of the Democratic National Convention, where several Republicans are set to speak in a show of bipartisan support for former Biden and his running mate, Sen. Kamala Harris.
Four Republicans will speak for a segment called “We The People Putting Country Over Party.”
Biden’s other Republican backers include several former administrations cabinet secretaries, former members of Congress and former GOP state party chairs. One-time Republican presidential candidate Carly Fiorina, and Anthony Scaramucci, a prior Trump ally who briefly served as his White House communications director, have also endorsed Biden.
White House spokesperson Judd Deere responded to Taylor’s allegations in a statement to USA TODAY, saying Taylor “never understood the importance of the President’s agenda or why the American people elected him and clearly just wants to cash-in.”
Some other former senior Trump administration officials, including most recently former national security adviser John Bolton, have also been critical of Trump, but few have publicly endorsed Biden.
In the ad, Taylor asserts the president sought to “exploit the Department of Homeland Security for his own political purposes and to fuel his own agenda.”
Taylor claimed the president sought to “go further” than the zero tolerance immigration policy at the southern border that led to family separations, and wanted “a deliberate policy of ripping children away from their parents to show those parents that they shouldn’t come to the border in the first place.”
Nielsen implemented the Trump administration’s controversial family separation policy after being appointed DHS secretary in December 2017 that led to the separation of thousands of families. She resigned in April 2019.
In the op-ed, Taylor also slammed Trump’s response to the coronavirus pandemic as “bungled”, writing that “Trump failed to make effective use of the federal crisis response system painstakingly built after 9/11. Years of DHS planning for a pandemic threat have been largely wasted.”
According to CNN, Taylor has taken a leave of absence from working at Google’s public policy arm until Election Day to engage more in the 2020 presidential campaign.