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Former Trump administration official calls his presidency "terrifying"

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The former chief of staff at the Department of Homeland Security recorded an ad for a political group opposing President Trump, calling the Trump presidency "terrifying." Miles Taylor, who left DHS in 2019, claims the president wanted to use the agency "for his own political purposes and to fuel his own agenda."

"What we saw week in and week out and for me after two and a half years in that administration was terrifying," said Taylor in a video posted Monday on Twitter by by Republican Voters Against Trump. "We would go in to try to talk to them about a pressing national security, cyber attack, terrorism threat. He wasn't interested in those things to him. They weren't priorities."

Taylor said in the video that he overheard Mr. Trump tell the Federal Emergency Management Agency to cut off funding to aid California as it was being ravaged by wildfires.

"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," Taylor said. He also criticized Mr. Trump's policy toward families crossing the southern border into the U.S., saying the president wanted to "have a deliberate policy of ripping children away from their parents to show those parents that they shouldn't come to the border in the first place."

"A lot of the time, the things he wanted to do not only were impossible, but in many cases illegal. He didn't want us to tell them it was illegal anymore because he knew that there were, and these were his words, he knew that he had magical authorities," Taylor continued. He called Mr. Trump "unfocused" and "undisciplined."

"I came away completely convinced, based on firsthand experience, that the president was ill equipped and wouldn't become equipped to do his job effectively. And what's worse was actively doing damage to our security," he said.

Taylor then said that he would support Joe Biden for president, despite their political differences, because "I'm confident that Joe Biden will protect the country and I'm confident he won't make the same mistakes as this."

White House spokesperson Judd Deere responded to Taylor's allegations in a statement, saying that Taylor is "another creature of the D.C. Swamp."

"This individual is 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," Deere said in a statement.

Taylor also wrote an op-ed for The Washington Post published on Monday, where he declared his opposition to the president's reelection and his support for Biden.

"Like many Americans, I had hoped that Donald Trump, once in office, would soberly accept the burdens of the presidency - foremost among them the duty to keep America safe. But he did not rise to the challenge. Instead, the president has governed by whim, political calculation and self-interest," Taylor wrote.

He also included more examples of alleged wrongdoing by the president, such as when he told administration officials to close the California-Mexico border during a March 28, 2019, Oval Office meeting, as it would be better for him politically than closing the Arizona or Texas borders. Taylor also said that Mr. Trump was preoccupied with the construction of the wall on the southern border, including its color and from what material it would be constructed.

Taylor criticized Mr. Trump's foreign policy, and claimed that the president "has also damaged the country in countless ways that don't directly involve national security but, by stoking hatred and division, make Americans profoundly less safe." He also slammed the president for his response to the coronavirus pandemic.

"The president's bungled response to the coronavirus pandemic is the ultimate example. In his cavalier disregard for the seriousness of the threat, Trump failed to make effective use of the federal crisis response system painstakingly built after 9/11. Years of DHS planning for a pandemic threat have been largely wasted. Meanwhile, more than 165,000 Americans have died."

Taylor's op-ed and the ad by Republican Voters Against Trump come as the Democratic National Convention begins its first day of events on Monday. Mr. Trump is also holding campaign events in Minnesota and Wisconsin on Monday.

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