The former chief of staff of the Department of Homeland Security shared a brutal testimony Monday about his time working under President Donald Trump, describing him as a man who prioritizes personal revenge over national security.
Miles Taylor, who served in the role from 2017 to 2019, recounted Trump’s “terrifying” behavior in a video for the group Republican Voters Against Trump and in an op-ed for The Washington Post, and said he’s voting for Democratic candidate Joe Biden.
“We would go in to try to talk to him about a pressing national security issue ― a cyberattack, terrorism threat,” Taylor said in the video. “He wasn’t interested in those things. To him, they weren’t priorities. The president wanted to exploit the Department of Homeland Security for his own political purposes and to fuel his own agenda.”
Taylor recalled some of the most vindictive or self-serving demands Trump made to the DHS.
“The California wildfires,” he raised as an example. “On a phone call with the Federal Emergency Management Agency, he told FEMA to cut off the money, and to no longer give individual assistance to California. He told us to stop giving money to people whose houses had burned down from a wildfire because he was so rageful that people in the state of California didn’t support him, and that politically it wasn’t a base for him.”
Taylor also said Trump’s policy of separating migrant children from their parents at the border was born out of a desire to punish them.
“He said he wanted to restart ‘zero tolerance’ and separate families. He said he wanted to go further and have a deliberate policy of ripping children away from their parents to show those parents that they shouldn’t come to the door in the first place,” Taylor said. When the DHS would tell Trump his ideas may be illegal, Taylor continued, the president would boast that he had “magical authorities.”
The White House did not immediately return HuffPost’s requests for comment on the allegations from Taylor, who is now one of the highest-ranking former Trump officials to endorse former Vice President Biden in his campaign to unseat Trump.