Miles Taylor (security expert)

Miles Taylor
Miles Taylor (cropped).jpg
Taylor in 2019
Chief of Staff to the United States Secretary of Homeland Security
In office
February 8, 2019 – September 2019[1]
PresidentDonald Trump
SecretaryKirstjen Nielsen
Preceded byChad Wolf
Succeeded byJohn Gountanis (acting)[2]
Personal details
Born1986/1987 (age 33–34)[3]
Political partyRepublican
EducationIndiana University Bloomington (BA)
New College, Oxford (MPhil)

Miles Taylor is an American former government official in the George W. Bush and Trump administrations, best known for his previously anonymous criticisms of Donald Trump. He was a Trump administration appointee who served in the United States Department of Homeland Security from 2017 to 2019, including as Chief of Staff to former Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen and Acting Secretary Chad Wolf. While in the DHS, he helped craft talking points for the administration to defend its family separation policy.[4]

In 2018, while deputy chief of staff to Nielsen, he wrote the New York Times op-ed "I Am Part of the Resistance Inside the Trump Administration" under the pen-name 'Anonymous', which drew widespread attention for its criticism of Trump. In 2019, he published the book A Warning[3].

In August 2020, while on leave from his job at Google, he produced an ad for Republican Voters Against Trump, denouncing Trump and endorsing Joe Biden in the 2020 presidential election. Taylor was the first former senior Trump administration staffer to endorse Biden.[5]

In October 2020, Taylor revealed himself to be 'Anonymous'.[6][7]

Early life and education

Taylor grew up in La Porte, Indiana and graduated from La Porte High School in 2006 as valedictorian.[8] He received a Bachelor of Arts in international security studies from Indiana University Bloomington, which he attended as a Harry S. Truman Scholar and Herman B. Wells Scholar.[9] As a senior, he received IU's inaugural Presidential Student Internship.[10]

Taylor received an MPhil in International Relations from New College, Oxford, which he attended as a Marshall Scholar.[9]


In 2007, while in college, Taylor interned in the office of the Secretary of Defense and the office of Vice President Dick Cheney.[10] In 2008, he worked as Briefing Book coordinator at the Department of Homeland Security.[10] In 2009 he served as a regional policy intern for the Defense Department.[10]

Taylor was a political appointee in the administration of George W. Bush.[9] He was a staffer for the House Appropriations Committee and then the Committee on Homeland Security, where he was advisor to its chair, Michael McCaul.[9] He was McCaul's chief speechwriter and the Majority Staff Lead for the congressional Task Force on Combating Terrorist and Foreign Fighter Travel.[9] In 2015 he was named a Penn Kemble Fellow by the National Endowment for Democracy.[11]

Department of Homeland Security

Taylor (right) with then-Secretary Nielsen in 2019

From February 2017 to June 2019, Taylor worked at the Department of Homeland Security, including serving as Chief of Staff for Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen and Acting Secretary of Homeland Security Chad Wolf.[12] Taylor defended a version of the Trump administration's Muslim ban, and was also involved in defending the Trump administration policy of migrant family separation.[4]

In October 2020, Taylor revealed himself to be "Anonymous", the author of the New York Times September 5, 2018, op-ed, "I Am Part of the Resistance Inside the Trump Administration" and the follow-up book, A Warning, published in November 2019.[3][13]

In August 2020, Taylor said that in April 2019 he had personally witnessed President Trump offer Homeland Security staff federal pardons for any criminal prosecution arising from their actions in stopping illegal immigration to the United States, and at that point Taylor decided to resign from the Department.[14][15] White House spokesman Judd Deere rejected Taylor's allegations, and described him as "another creature of the D.C. Swamp who never understood the importance of the President's agenda or why the American people elected him and clearly just wants to cash-in".[16]


In September 2019 Taylor was hired by Google as a government affairs and public policy manager with a title of Head of National Security.[17][1] He is a senior fellow at Auburn University's McCrary Center for Cyber and Critical Infrastructure Security and a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.[18]

Joe Biden campaign

In August 2020, Taylor took a leave from Google to support Joe Biden's presidential campaign.[19] He made an ad for Republican Voters Against Trump, denouncing Trump and endorsing Biden in the 2020 presidential election.[19][20] In August, Taylor also wrote an opinion piece for the Washington Post ;[12] Columnist Jennifer Rubin said it "adds detail to what we could have only surmised was the story behind chaotic policy rollouts."[21] The next day, Taylor appeared on multiple news and analysis shows saying that other former members of the Trump administration were considering speaking out similarly.[22]

Journalist Judy Woodruff asked Taylor in a PBS NewsHour interview why he had spoken out when he did rather than immediately after leaving the administration. Taylor responded,

If I had come out and talked about Donald Trump a year ago, when I left the administration, he's a master of distraction. He would have buried it within a day, and it wouldn't have mattered to voters. But, right now, American voters are reviewing the president's, I think there's no more important time for me or other ex-Trump officials to come out and actually talk about what the experience was inside the administration and what kind of man sits behind the Resolute Desk in the Oval Office.[23]

Taylor denied being 'Anonymous' in a number of interviews. After he acknowledged that he was 'Anonymous', Taylor said he owed a mea culpa to those journalists but noted that, as 'Anonymous', he always said he "would ultimately come out under my own name".[24]

Personal life

Taylor is a lifelong member of the Republican Party.[23][25][26] He donated to the Barack Obama campaign in the 2008 presidential election; according to Taylor, he was "gunning for John McCain... [but] wanted to be able to tell [his] kids that ... [he] supported the first Black president of the United States."[27]

Further reading

  • "I Am Part of the Resistance Inside the Trump Administration". The New York Times. September 5, 2018.
  • Anonymous (2019), A Warning. New York: Hachette ISBN 978-1-5387-1846-9
  • Taylor, Miles (28 October 2020), A Statement – Why I'm no longer "Anonymous"., viewed 28 October 2020.


  1. ^ a b Palmer, Anna; Sherman, Jake. "Politico Playbook: Behind the president's struggles with impeachment". Politico. Retrieved August 20, 2020.
  2. ^ "Leadership". Department of Homeland Security. September 7, 2006.
  3. ^ a b c Shear, Michael D. (2020-10-28). "Miles Taylor, a Former Homeland Security Official, Reveals He Was 'Anonymous'". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2020-11-03.
  4. ^ a b Mac, Ryan; Leopold, Jason (October 28, 2019). "A Google Staffer Helped Sell Trump's Family Separation Policy, Despite The Company Denials". BuzzFeed News. Retrieved 2020-10-28.
  5. ^ Swan, Betsy Woodruff (August 19, 2020). "Ex-DHS official: Trump appeared to side with Team Russia". Politico. Retrieved 2020-08-20.
  6. ^ Taylor, Miles (Oct 28, 2020). "A Statement". Medium. Retrieved Oct 28, 2020.
  7. ^ CNN, Jake Tapper and Jeremy Herb. "Author of 2018 'Anonymous' op-ed critical of Trump revealed". CNN. Retrieved 2020-10-28.
  8. ^ LaPorte Community School Corporation Newsletter; Volume 1, Issue 3, May 2006; Page 4
  9. ^ a b c d e "Miles Taylor". National Endowment for Democracy. September 22, 2015. Retrieved August 20, 2020.
  10. ^ a b c d "LaPorte student who served in Cheney office named IU intern". 23 September 2009. Retrieved 2020-08-20.
  11. ^ "2015-2016 Penn Kemble Fellows". National Endowment for Democracy. Retrieved August 20, 2020.
  12. ^ a b Taylor, Miles. "Opinion | At Homeland Security, I saw firsthand how dangerous Trump is for America". Washington Post. Retrieved August 20, 2020.
  13. ^ "Author of 2018 'Anonymous' op-ed critical of Trump revealed". CNN. October 28, 2020.
  14. ^ Blake, Aaron (August 26, 2020). "Analysis | Miles Taylor's very serious allegations against Trump, explained". Washington Post.
  15. ^ Solender, Andrew (August 25, 2020). "'If You Get In Trouble I'll Pardon You': Ex-DHS Official Miles Taylor Says Trump Promised Protection For Illegal Policies". Forbes.
  16. ^ Segers, Grace (August 18, 2020). "Former Trump administration official calls his presidency "terrifying"". CBS News.
  17. ^ "Google Hired A Former Top DHS Staffer Who Once Defended The Travel Ban". BuzzFeed News. Retrieved August 20, 2020.
  18. ^ "Miles Taylor". Retrieved 2020-08-20.
  19. ^ a b Elias, Jennifer (August 18, 2020). "Former Trump staffer who joined Google is now on leave to support Biden". CNBC. Retrieved August 20, 2020.
  20. ^ Diamond, Jeremy; Tapper, Jake; Warren, Michael (August 17, 2020). "Former senior Trump administration official endorses Joe Biden". CNN. Retrieved August 20, 2020.
  21. ^ Rubin, Jennifer (August 18, 2020). "Opinion | A former DHS official is putting other Trump insiders to shame". Washington Post. Retrieved August 20, 2020.
  22. ^ Faulders, Katherine (August 18, 2020). "Former DHS official now backing Biden warns Trump others will speak out". ABC News. Retrieved August 20, 2020.
  23. ^ a b "Why this former DHS official under Trump is endorsing Biden". PBS NewsHour. 2020-08-18. Retrieved 2020-08-20.
  24. ^ "Miles Taylor says he owes Anderson Cooper a beer for lying about being "Anonymous"". Newsweek. 28 October 2020.
  25. ^ "'Second term would be more dangerous:' Lifelong Republican Miles Taylor blasts Trump, endorses Biden". ABC7 Chicago. 2020-08-18. Retrieved 2020-08-20.
  26. ^ "Ex-DHS official: I fear Trump will do this to make the election difficult". The Penn. Retrieved 2020-08-20.
  27. ^ Jacobs, Ben (29 August 2020). "Miles Taylor Is Sick of Hearing About the Deep State". Medium.


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