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Former U.S. Homeland Security official says he wrote anonymous 2018 op-ed, then book on Trump

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WASHINGTON (Reuters) — A former U.S. Department of Homeland Security official on Wednesday revealed he was the author of an anonymous 2018 New York Times op-ed and later book that excoriated President Donald Trump, stepping forward to urge Americans to vote against Trump.

Miles Taylor, chief of staff in the department until 2019, set tongues wagging in Washington with the editorial that called Trump amoral, petty and ineffective. He disclosed his identity on Wednesday in a statement on Medium, an online publishing platform, ahead of next week's presidential election.

"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," wrote Taylor, a Republican who endorsed Trump's election opponent, Democrat Joe Biden.

"With that in mind, he doesn't deserve a second term in office, and we don't deserve to live through it."

Trump responded later on Wednesday, saying in a tweet that CNN, where Taylor is a contributor, "should fire, shame and punish everybody associated with the FRAUD on the American people."

Trump added he did not know Taylor and had "never even heard of him," although Trump in August called Taylor a "lowlife."

This March 27, 2018, provided by the Department of Homeland Security, then-Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen and then-Department of Homeland Security chief of staff Miles Taylor, right, meet with Honduran President Juan Hernandez, not pictured, and security ministers from the Northern Triangle countries in Tegucigalpa, Honduras. Taylor, a former Trump administration official who penned a scathing anti-Trump op-ed and book under the pen name "Anonymous" made his identify public Wednesday, Oct. 28, 2020.
This March 27, 2018, provided by the Department of Homeland Security, then-Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen and then-Department of Homeland Security chief of staff Miles Taylor, right, meet with Honduran President Juan Hernandez, not pictured, and security ministers from the Northern Triangle countries in Tegucigalpa, Honduras. Taylor, a former Trump administration official who penned a scathing anti-Trump op-ed and book under the pen name "Anonymous" made his identify public Wednesday, Oct. 28, 2020. (Photo: Tim Godbee, Department of Homeland Security via AP)

White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany blasted Taylor as a "liar and a coward who chose anonymity over action and leaking over leading."

Taylor, who described himself as part of the "resistance" within the Trump administration in the anonymous editorial, has also publicly criticized Trump.

The op-ed and book that followed it, called "A Warning," caused brief flurries of attention, although they were overshadowed by a series of books written by well-known former Trump associates, both pro and con, who identified themselves as the authors of their work. Many had suspected Taylor was the anonymous author for months.

(Reporting by Lisa Lambert; Additional reporting by Jeff Mason; Editing by Cynthia Osterman)

© Copyright Thomson Reuters 2020

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