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Indiana Daily Student

IU alumnus wrote controversial 2018 New York Times anonymous op-ed attacking President Trump

<p>President Donald Trump stands on stage during a presidential debate Oct. 9, 2016, at Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri. Miles Taylor, who served in the Department of Homeland Security from 2017 to 2019, the last months of which were as DHS&#x27;s Chief of Staff, revealed himself to be the author of the New York Times opinion piece Wednesday.</p>

President Donald Trump stands on stage during a presidential debate Oct. 9, 2016, at Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri. Miles Taylor, who served in the Department of Homeland Security from 2017 to 2019, the last months of which were as DHS's Chief of Staff, revealed himself to be the author of the New York Times opinion piece Wednesday.

In September 2018, the New York Times published an opinion piece that harshly criticized the president’s policies. However, in a rare step, the newspaper did not reveal the identity of the person who wrote the piece, only saying it was written by a senior official in the Trump administration. For months, theories circulated that the piece was written by now-former Defense Secretary Gen. James Mattis, now-former Chief of Staff John Kelly and even Vice President Mike Pence

However, Miles Taylor, who served in the Department of Homeland Security from 2017 to 2019, the last months of which were as DHS's Chief of Staff, revealed himself to be the author of the article Wednesday.

"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 said in a statement released online. “We do not owe the President our silence. We owe him and the American people the truth.”

The New York Times has since confirmed he was the author of the report. The opinion piece was updated with a note.

“While The Times has a strict policy of protecting its sources, in this case he personally waived our agreement to keep his identity confidential,” the Times added at the top of the piece. “We can confirm that he is the author.”

Taylor hails from La Porte, Indiana, and graduated as La Porte High School’s valedictorian. 

He went on to attend IU as a Wells Scholar and a Harry S. Truman Scholar. After graduating, he studied at Oxford University as a Marshall Scholar, the prestigious award that provides scholarships at universities in the United Kingdom. 

Taylor became an outspoken critic of Trump after he left DHS. In August 2020, Taylor was the subject of an advertisement released by Republican Voters Against Trump, a group that features conservatives who bucked their party and are supporting Joe Biden in the 2020 election. 

“What we saw — week in and week out... after two-and-a-half years in that administration — was terrifying,” Taylor said in the video released by RVAT. “The president wanted to exploit the Department of Homeland Security for his own political purposes and to fuel his own agenda.”

After Taylor’s announcement, the White House released a statement attacking Taylor.

“He was ineffective and incompetent during his time as DHS Chief of Staff which is why he was promptly fired after serving in this role for a matter of weeks,” White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany said in the statement. “It is appalling a low-ranking official would be granted anonymity and it is clear the New York Times is doing the bidding of Never-Trumpers and Democrats.”

Taylor reportedly resigned from his position in April 2019.

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