The White House called Miles Taylor, former chief of staff at the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, a “coward” after he announced Wednesday he was the anonymous author of a 2018 op-ed published in The New York Times that described President Donald Trump as “impetuous, adversarial, petty and ineffective”
He went public about being the author of the piece and the book “A Warning” in a statement posted to Medium.
“This low-level, disgruntled former staffer is a liar and a coward who chose anonymity over action and leaking over leading,” White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany wrote in a statement to reporters.
The statement also called it “appalling” that Taylor was granted anonymity by the newspaper and his publisher.
In the Medium statement, Taylor responded to a previous tweet by Trump accusing the anonymous author of treason after the op-ed was published in 2018.
“We do not owe the President our silence. We owe him and the American people the truth,” Taylor said in the Medium post.
The op-ed harshly criticized Trump as a president who is amoral and “not moored to any discernible first principles that guide his decision making.” It said members of the administration were “working diligently from within to frustrate parts of his agenda and his worst inclinations” as part of a secret resistance to Trump.
The op-ed spurred a search for the author’s identity within the Trump administration. The president pushed then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions to launch a Justice Department investigation, calling the piece a matter of “national security,” The Associated Press reports.
After leaving the administration, Taylor anonymously published “A Warning,” a book he now describes as a “character study of the current Commander in Chief and a caution to voters that it wasn’t as bad as it looked inside the Trump Administration — it was worse.”
Taylor has gone public with his criticisms of Trump in recent months — though not revealing his identity until Wednesday — and is a CNN contributor, The Associated Press reported.
CNN anchor Anderson Cooper asked Taylor in August whether he was the secret writer.
”I wear a mask for two things, Anderson: Halloween and pandemics. So, no,” Taylor said.
He called the speculation of the author a “parlor game” in Washington, D.C., before saying “I’ve got my own thoughts about who that might be.”