Olivia Troye, a former coronavirus adviser to Vice President Mike Pence, became the latest in a growing list of former Trump administration officials to back Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden.
WASHINGTON, DC – JULY 21: Anthony Scaramucci answers reporters’ questions during the daily White … [+] House press briefing in the Brady Press Briefing Room at the White House July 21, 2017 in Washington, DC. White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer quit after it was announced that Trump hired Scaramucci, a Wall Street financier and longtime supporter, to the position of White House communications director. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
Troye said Trump’s “attacks against people in his administration” have made the government’s response to the outbreak a “failure,” calling his early repudiation of masks “detrimental” and outlining a culture of fear and intimidation in the White House coronavirus task force.
One of the most prominent former Trump officials backing Biden is ironically also the shortest serving — Anthony Scaramucci, who served just two weeks as the White House director of communications, called Trump “crazy” and said “sane people have to work together to beat him.”
Arguably the most outspoken former administration official is ex-Department of Homeland Security Chief of Staff Miles Taylor, who claims Trump promised to pardon officials who broke the law, sought to fire an official for testifying on Russian election interference, sought to withhold wildfire aid to California for partisan reasons and claimed “magical authorities” beyond the law.
Former DHS General Counsel John Mitnick and Peace Corps General Counsel Robert Shanks signed a letter along with over 70 other former GOP national security officials calling Trump “dangerously unfit” to serve another term for aligning with “dictators and human rights abusers” and “gravely” damaging America’s image on the world stage.
Former DHS Assistant Secretary for Counterterrorism and Threat Prevention Elizabeth Neumann also signed the letter and alleged Trump told officials to stop fighting the virus because “he didn’t want the economy to tank and he didn’t want a distraction from his campaign,” also accusing the White House of a “single-minded focus” on immigration in their homeland security priorities.
Biden has been endorsed by hundreds of former Republican officials and other major conservative political figures, including former Ohio Gov. John Kasich, 2016 presidential candidate Carly Fiorina, Secretary of State Colin Powell and the family of the late Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.).
At a fundraiser on Thursday, Biden said his GOP backers have endorsed him “not because they believe the same policy positions that I believe,” but because they “know this is a front attack on our democracy, on our integrity of our institutions.”
The White House has consistently dismissed the importance and loyalty of officials who have broken with Trump. White House spokesperson Judd Deere dismissed Taylor as a “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,” and called Troye a “disgruntled former detailee.”
What To Watch For
Several other Trump officials have spoken out publicly against him and may endorse Biden before the election. Former Defense Secretary Jim Mattis slammed Trump’s response to George Floyd protests, calling the decision to teargas protesters outside the White House to clear the way for a church photo-op an “abuse of executive authority” and a “mockery of our Constitution.” Former National Security Advisor John Bolton made numerous damning allegations in his book The Room Where It Happened and said his goal is to make Trump a “one-term president.”