Taylor, who was chief of staff to Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen, wrote a lengthy statement explaining why he penned the 2018 op-ed declaring he was part of the “resistance” inside the Trump administration working to thwart Trump’s worst inclinations. Taylor said that he wanted to force Trump to respond to the charges he was leveling without the ability to attack the messenger specifically. Trump called the op-ed treasonous.
“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,” Taylor wrote.
“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,” Taylor added. “I wanted the attention to be on the arguments themselves.”
Taylor joined CNN as a contributor in September 2020.
“I am a Republican, and I wanted this president to succeed,” Taylor said in his statement Wednesday. “But too often in times of crisis, Donald Trump has proven 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.”
Taylor said he was hopeful that more people inside the government would speak out against Trump, noting that several senior officials have done so in different ways since leaving the administration.
“I witnessed Trump’s inability to do his job over the course of two-and-a-half years inside the administration. Everyone saw it, though most were hesitant to speak up for fear of reprisals,” Taylor wrote.
In the 2018 op-ed, which was titled, “I Am Part of the Resistance Inside the Trump Administration,” Taylor anonymously wrote that “many of the senior officials in his own administration are working diligently from within to frustrate parts of his agenda and his worst inclinations.”
But Taylor said that original assertion was incorrect.
“The country cannot rely on well-intentioned, unelected bureaucrats around the President to steer him toward what’s right,” Taylor said Wednesday. “He has purged most of them anyway.”