The White House responded to the unmasking of former official Miles Taylor as the "Anonymous" administration insider with a series of scathing rebukes, calling him a liar, loser and little circus clown.
Mr Taylor was the writer behind a 2018 Op-Ed column in The New York Times that described the president as âimpetuous, adversarial, petty and ineffectiveâ. He also wrote the book A Warning, that said Mr Trump threatened Americaâs democracy.
White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany said Mr Taylor was a low-level, disgruntled coward who chose anonymity and lied about it when asked directly in a CNN interview with Anderson Cooper.
"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,â Ms McEnany said in a statement.
âIt 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."
PROOF: Miles Taylor, who now admits to being “Anonymous,” once told us he was NOT Anonymous. He LIED!
This is everything people hate about Washington — two-faced liars who push their own agendas at the expense of the People. This is the epitome of the swamp! ⬇️ https://t.co/cNz1Fgpz5g
— Kayleigh McEnany (@PressSec) October 28, 2020
White House chief of staff Mark Meadows said The New York Times misled the public into thinking Anonymous was an influential senior official, calling the episode âabsolutely ridiculousâ.
Laughable as the “Miles Taylor Anonymous” episode is, it’s every bit as damaging to the media. The New York Times amplified a no-name agency deputy with no access to President Trump and misled Americans into thinking he was an influential senior official. Absolutely ridiculous.
— Mark Meadows (@MarkMeadows) October 28, 2020
Comedian Kumail Nanjian said that Mr Taylor's revelation as anonymous was "NOT EXCITING", joking that he rejected an apology from The New York Times media writer Ben Smith.
Apology rejected. Please return with a juicier name. You have 20 mins till 4 pm EST.
— Kumail Nanjiani (@kumailn) October 28, 2020
Axios reporter Jonathan Swan, who interviewed Donald Trump in August, said he didn't realise the New York Times' definition of "senior administration official" could be so expansive and that their granting of anonymity to Mr Taylor was "an embarrassment".
"Wasn't even an agency chief of staff at the time the op-ed ran," Mr Swan said in a tweet.
White House communications advisor Ben Williamson confirmed Mr Taylor's role as a "deputy advisor" at the time of the piece in 2018, calling him a "little circus clown", comparing him to a character from the comedy series The Office.
"A chief of staff *to* the chief of staff... for a cabinet secretary. The Times handed Dwight Schrute their editorial platform so he could write an op-ed pretending heâs the man behind the curtain. Comical," he said.
"What an absolute loser," Mr Williamson added.
Correct Miles Taylor wasn’t even DHS chief yet. He was a deputy advisor. A chief of staff *to* the chief of staff... for a cabinet secretary. The Times handed Dwight Schrute their editorial platform so he could write an op-ed pretending he’s the man behind the curtain. Comical. https://t.co/3jfE9Kfvba
— Ben Williamson (@_WilliamsonBen) October 28, 2020
White House communications director Alyssa Farah said Mr Taylor was DHS chief of staff for about as long as Anthony Scaramucci was communications director.
"I rolled my eyes so hard I nearly tipped backwards," she said in a tweet. "To paraphrase Andy Warhol: In the future, everyone will be a Senior Admin Officials for 15 minutes."
I rolled my eyes so hard I nearly tipped backwards.🙄🙄
To paraphrase Andy Warhol: In the future, everyone will be a Senior Admin Officials for 15 minutes. 😂✌️ https://t.co/2quOGWkaHg
— Alyssa Farah (@Alyssafarah) October 28, 2020
The sentiment was shared by Donald Trump Jr, who shared a chuckle along with British TV presenter Piers Morgan over the underwhelming reaction to the revelation.
The supposed “high level administration official” was a DHS staffer!!! 🤣🤣🤣 No one I know has even heard of him. https://t.co/jcymmOBoUE
— Donald Trump Jr. (@DonaldJTrumpJr) October 28, 2020