Thursday 29 October 2020

Trump Assails White House Mole

"Who Is Miles Taylor?" - Trump Assails White House Mole: "They Should Fire, Shame & Punish Everybody Associated With This Fraud"

28 October, 2020

Update (1850ET): More criticism of the NYT's characterization of Taylor's status as a "senior" administration official is rolling in.

Digging back through Internet history, several twitter users pointed out that Taylor's name wasn't listed on the DHS's "leadership" page - which included dozens of names - on the day the NYT report was published. At the time, he hadn't yet achieved his most-senior rank as chief of staff.

And just like that - all the NYT's reporting sourcing "senior" administration officials has been possibly called into question.

Another point: If Taylor was so 'senior' how come nobody knows who he is?

* * *

Update (1745ET): President Trump just took a minute away from the campaign trail to weigh in on the 'coming out' of Miles Taylor, the formerly "anonymous" op-ed writer and self-proclaimed leader of the internal White House #resistance,

"Who is Miles Taylor?" President Trump wrote, before recounting Taylor's association with various adversaries of the administration. He added that "they should fire, shame, and punish everybody associated with this FRAUD on the American people" - a group that would presumably include some members or former members of his own inner circle, as well as the editors of the NYT.

A photo of Taylor and Trump has been circulating on Twitter since before Trump published his tweet, and we imagine Trump's response to the inevitable reporter question will be his usual "so what?".

One reporter warned that the NYT shouldn't be let "off the hook" so easily, and accused them of exaggerating Taylor's position within the administration (we didn't see Taylor's name on any of those lists of likely mole suspects; but we did see 'Mike Pence').

Meanwhile, CNN has reportedly decided not to fire Taylor, even though he lied on air to one of the network's anchors (anderson cooper, clip below) despite being a paid employee of the company.

He will appear on Chris Cuomo's show tonight. It's still unclear what Google's response will be.

* * *

Roughly two years have passed since an anonymous Trump Administration insider published an op-ed - then later, a whole book - warning Americans how President Trump was a danger to the nation, primarily due to his "lack of character".

Well, on Wednesday afternoon, with six days left until the big day, the MSM and their political operative allies, orchestrated the public coming-out of Miles Taylor, a former senior official within Trump's Homeland Security Department who, before today, was best known as the first former senior administration official to endorse Joe Biden for president.

In the year since Taylor has left the White House, he has parlayed his national security bona fides (which were burnished during a stint working for Dick Cheney in the Bush White House) into a top job working for Google, as well as a lucrative contract to appear as a talking head on CNN and...did we mention the book deal?

Shortly following a teaser from George Conway, who called his fellow conservative Republican a "true patriot"....

...Buzzfeed Ben - excuse us, Ben Smith - the former top man at Buzzfeed who left that struggling media company to take the coveted job as the NYT's media columnist (a position formerly held by both Brian Stelter and, before him, the legendary American media reporter David Carr), was the first to confirm Taylor's identity, followed by a tweet from Taylor acknowledging that it was all true.

Taylor published a statement on his reasoning for "why I'm no longer 'anonymous'" via his new Medium page, which is strange, considering he now works for CNN, technically. In the statement, Taylor wrote that Trump "sees personal criticism as subversive" followed by a Teddy Roosevelt quote condemning those who say the president must not be criticized as "not only unpatriotic and servile, but...morally treasonable to the American public." Later in the piece, he quoted Abraham Lincoln.

Though Taylor acknowledged that he has been a life-long Republican, and that he "wanted this president to succeed", he said Trump is "a man without character", and "his personal defects have resulted in leadership failures so significant that they can be measured in lost American lives."

Read the full statement below:

More than two years ago, I published an anonymous opinion piece in The New York Times about Donald Trump’s perilous presidency, while I was serving under him. He responded with a short but telling tweet: “TREASON?” Trump sees personal criticism as subversive. I take a different view.

As Theodore Roosevelt wrote, “To announce that there must be no criticism of the President, or that we are to stand by the President, right or wrong, is not only unpatriotic and servile, but is morally treasonable to the American public. Nothing but the truth should be spoken about him or anyone else. But it is even more important to tell the truth, pleasant or unpleasant, about him than about anyone else.” We do not owe the President our silence. We owe him and the American people the truth. Make no mistake: I am a Republican, and I wanted this President to succeed. That’s why I came into the Administration with John Kelly, and it’s why I stayed on as Chief of Staff at the Department of Homeland Security. But too often in times of crisis, I saw Donald Trump prove he is a man without character, and his personal defects have resulted in leadership failures so significant that they can be measured in lost American lives.

I witnessed Trump’s inability to do his job over the course of two-and-a-half years. Everyone saw it, though most were hesitant to speak up for fear of reprisals. So when I left the Administration I wrote A Warning, 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. 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. In other words, Trump’s own lieutenants were alarmed by his instability.

Much has been made of the fact that these writings were published anonymously. The decision wasn’t easy, I wrestled with it, and I understand why some people consider it questionable to levy such serious charges against a sitting President under the cover of anonymity. But my reasoning was straightforward, and I stand by it. 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. I wanted the attention to be on the arguments themselves. At the time I asked, “What will he do when there is no person to attack, only an idea?” We got the answer. He became unhinged. And the ideas stood on their own two feet. To be clear, writing those works was not about eminence (they were published without attribution), not about money (I declined a hefty monetary advance and pledged to donate the bulk of the proceeds), and not about crafting a score-settling “tell all” (my focus was on the President himself and his character, not denigrating former colleagues). Nevertheless, I made clear I wasn’t afraid to criticize the President under my name. In fact, I pledged to do so. That is why I’ve already been vocal throughout the general election. I’ve tried to convey as best I can — based on my own experience — how Donald Trump has made America less safe, less certain of its identity and destiny, and less united. He has responded predictably, with personal attacks meant to obscure the underlying message that he is unfit for the office he holds. Yet Trump has failed to bury the truth.

Why? Because since the op-ed was published, I’ve been joined by an unprecedented number of former colleagues who’ve chosen to speak out against the man they once served. Donald Trump’s character and record have now been challenged in myriad ways by his own former Chief of Staff, National Security Advisor, Communications Director, Secretary of State, Secretary of Defense, Director of National Intelligence, Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and others he personally appointed. History will also record the names of those souls who had everything to lose but stood up anyway, including Trump officials Fiona Hill, Michael McKinley, John Mitnick, Elizabeth Neumann, Bob Shanks, Olivia Troye, Josh Venable, Alexander Vindman, and many more. I applaud their courage. These are not “Deep Staters” who conspired to thwart their boss. Many of them were Trump supporters, and all of them are patriots who accepted great personal risks to speak candidly about a man they’ve seen retaliate and even incite violence against his opponents. (I’ve likewise experienced the cost of condemning the President, as doing so has taken a considerable toll on my job, daily life, marriage, finances, and personal safety.) These public servants were not intimidated. And you shouldn’t be either. As descendants of revolutionaries, honest dissent is part of our American character, and we must reject the culture of political intimidation that’s been cultivated by this President. That’s why I’m writing this note — to urge you to speak out if you haven’t.

While I hope a few more Trump officials will quickly find their consciences, your words are now more important than theirs. It’s time to come forward and shine a light on the discord that’s infected our public discourse. You can speak loudest with your vote and persuade others with your voice. Don’t be afraid of open debate. As I’ve said before, there is no better screen test for truth than to see it audition next to delusion. This election is a two-part referendum: first, on the character of a man, and second, on the character of our nation. That’s why I’m also urging fellow Republicans to put country over party, even if that means supporting Trump’s Democratic opponent. Although former Vice President Joe Biden is likely to pursue progressive reforms that conservatives oppose (and rest assured, we will challenge them in the loyal opposition), his policy agenda cannot equal the damage done by the current President to the fabric of our Republic. I believe Joe Biden’s decency will bring us back together where Donald Trump’s dishonesty has torn us apart.

Trump has been exactly what we conservatives always said government should NOT be: expansive, wasteful, arbitrary, unpredictable, and prone to abuses of power. Worse still, as I’ve noted previously, he’s waged an all-out assault on reason, preferring to enthrone emotion and impulse in the seat of government. The consequences have been calamitous, and if given four more years, he will push the limits of his power further than the “high crimes and misdemeanors” for which he was already impeached.

Trust me. We spent years trying to ameliorate Trump’s poor decisions (often unsuccessfully), many of which will be back with a vengeance in a second term. Recall, this is the man who told us, “When somebody’s president of the United States, the authority is total.” I believe more than ever that Trump unbound will mean a nation undone — a continued downward slide into social acrimony, with the United States fading into the background of a world stage it once commanded, to say nothing of the damage to our democratic institutions.

I was wrong, however, about one major assertion in my original op-ed. The country cannot rely on well-intentioned, unelected bureaucrats around the President to steer him toward what’s right. He has purged most of them anyway. Nor can they rely on Congress to deliver us from Trump’s wayward whims. The people themselves are the ultimate check on the nation’s chief executive. We alone must determine whether his behavior warrants continuance in office, and we face a momentous decision, as our choice about Trump’s future will affect our future for years to come. With that in mind, he doesn’t deserve a second term in office, and we don’t deserve to live through it.

Removing Trump will not be the end of our woes, unfortunately. While on the road visiting swing states for the past month, it’s become clear to me how far apart Americans have grown from one another. We’ve perpetuated the seemingly endless hostility stoked by this divisive President, so if we really want to restore vibrance to our civic life, the change must begin with each of us, not just with the occupant of the Oval Office. Fortunately, past generations have lit the way toward national reconciliation in even harder times.

On the brink of a civil war that literally split our nation in two, Abraham Lincoln called on the people not to lose sight of one other. He said in his Inaugural Address:

We are not enemies, but friends. We must not be enemies. Though passion may have strained it must not break our bonds of affection. The mystic chords of memory, stretching from every battlefield and patriot grave to every living heart and hearthstone all over this broad land, will yet swell the chorus of the Union, when again touched, as surely they will be, by the better angels of our nature.

Heed Lincoln’s words. We must return to our founding principles. We must rediscover our better angels. And we must reconcile with each other, repairing the bonds of affection that make us fellow Americans.

Mere minutes after Taylor's big coming-out, the online backlash began. Even members of the '#resistance' slammed Taylor for his involvement in executing Trump's child-separation policy, and for waiting this long to speak up.

As it turns out, Google execs reportedly misled their own employees when they insisted that Taylor wasn't involved with the child-separation policy, an issue that ranks as Trump's paramount sin among denizens of Silicon Valley.

Many also complained about the NYT hyping up the identity of the "anonymous" insider to try and suggest that he was a top-level staffer, prompting speculation about Rex Tillerson, John Kelly or even James Mattis. Trump's current chief of staff Mark Meadows,

For those hard-core Dems who can't understand why people are so mad at the Patriotic whistleblower, well here's @Yashar with an explanation.

Kayleigh McEnany made a similar point.

And journalist Judd Legum with the extended version of that explanation, in which he denounces "Anonymous" as little more than a grifter, who played a "critical role" in the family separation policy, now working to parlay his brief time in the Trump Administration into a quick buck.

Not only did he help carry it out, but Taylor "actively helped sell" the Trump Administration zero tolerance policy for immigrants.

Taylor wasn't the only one to face criticism: some slammed the NYT for distorting "Anonymous's" role in the administration.

With Taylor now outed as a child prison guard, as we have no doubt he will be branded by the left, we imagine Google will need to make a statement at some point about whether Taylor will continue on in his role, or be...fired.


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