News & Politics

Former Trump Official Miles Taylor Comes Out as “Anonymous”

Taylor worked as chief of staff at the Department of Homeland Security.

Photograph by Benjamin Wofford.

Miles Taylor, former Department of Homeland Security chief of staff, announced Wednesday that he is the anonymous senior Trump administration official who wrote the New York Times op-ed “I Am Part of the Resistance Inside the Trump Administration” in 2018 and released the book A Warning in 2019.

“Trump sees personal criticism as subversive,” Taylor writes in his statement, which includes quotes from Abraham Lincoln and Theodore Roosevelt. “We do not owe the President our silence. We owe him and the American people the truth.”

Taylor resigned from DHS in June 2019 after working as a top aide to Kirstjen Nielsen, the former DHS head who was fired months before Taylor left. (She was also an Anonymous suspect.) For the past two years, the White House and dozens of reporters have tried to crack which ex-official was behind the searing Trump critiques, and some aimed their speculation to higher-ranked staffers like Kellyanne Conway or John Bolton.

Since leaving the administration, Taylor has started working at Google as the head of national security relations, according to the New York Times. This summer, he endorsed Joe Biden publicly and even attracted a Trump tweet mention:

Politicos continue to debate Taylor’s decision to be anonymous and the New York Times and Hachette’s decisions to allow Taylor’s anonymity. He says that he “wrestled” with the decision, but ultimately thought the hits would land better if Trump had no individual to attack: “Issuing my critiques without attribution forced the President to answer them directly on their merits or not at all, rather than creating distractions through petty insults and name-calling,” he writes. “I wanted the attention to be on the arguments themselves.”

He also is clear to explain that his opinion wasn’t in the minority. “While I claim sole authorship of the work, the sentiments expressed within it were widely held among officials at the highest levels of the federal government,” writes Taylor. “In other words, Trump’s own lieutenants were alarmed by his instability.”

Taylor waited until six days before the election to reveal his identity. Last year, he said, “Trump will hear from me, in my own name, before the 2020 election” in a Reddit forum. His announcement was preceded this morning in a tweet from George Conway.

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Rosa joined Washingtonian in 2016 after graduating from Mount Holyoke College. She covers arts and culture for the magazine. She’s written about anti-racism efforts at Woolly Mammoth Theatre, dinosaurs in the revamped fossil hall at the Smithsonian’s Natural History Museum, and the horrors of taking a digital detox. When she can, she performs with her family’s Puerto Rican folkloric music ensemble based in Jersey City. She lives in Adams Morgan.