The formerly-anonymous “senior official in the Trump administration” who wrote a scathing New York Times op-ed against President Donald Trump in 2018 was at the time a department advisor with little access to the president, according to current and former administration officials.
White House Senior Communications Advisor Ben Williamson said Wednesday that Miles Taylor was an advisor to the chief of staff of the Department of Homeland Security at the time he claimed in his anonymous op-ed that he was part of a “resistance” within the Trump administration working behind the scenes to “thwart” the president’s agenda.
Taylor, now a CNN commentator, revealed Wednesday he wrote the op-ed.
Taylor was not identified in a list of over five dozen senior DHS leaders on the department’s website on the day following the publication of his op-ed in The Times in September 2018, web archives show.
Taylor was first identified on the DHS website as a senior leader of the department over five months after his op-ed was published when he was promoted to former DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen’s chief of staff in late February 2019. Taylor resigned from DHS four months later in June 2019, and in September 2020 he joined CNN as a contributor.
Prior to being promoted to former DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen’s chief of staff in late February 2019, Taylor was “nowhere near the Oval Office,” and had only “second hand” knowledge of Trump administration goals, according to former DHS Executive Secretary Christina Bobb.
“From his time as a counselor and then Deputy Chief of Staff, Miles Taylor lobbied hard and promoted himself into a position he was ill-equipped to handle,” Bobb wrote in a lengthy statement in August responding to an unrelated op-ed Taylor wrote.
“Miles was not equipped to handle the position of Chief of Staff and that was apparent to everyone except Miles. He only lasted a few weeks in the role.”
I worked closely with Miles Taylor at DHS. Here’s the real story. pic.twitter.com/ItQQPcNaWy
— Christina Bobb (@christina_bobb) August 18, 2020
Journalists criticized The Times on Wednesday for granting Taylor anonymity and describing him as a senior Trump administration official in his op-ed.
“I also didn’t realize the definition of ‘senior administration official’ could be *this* expansive,” tweeted Axios’ Jonathan Swan.
Taylor did not return requests for comment.
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