I had thought from the beginning that “Anonymous,” the Trump administration official who torched President Trump in a New York Times op-ed piece in 2018, was someone close to John Kelly. And so it is: Miles Taylor, the 33-year-old former chief of staff of the Department of Home Security, Kelly’s first stop before becoming Trump’s chief of staff.
Why a Kelly aide? “Anonymous” came across as enthusiastic about Trump’s vicious right-wing policies, calling to mind Josh Marshall’s description of Kelly as an example of “Total Quality Trumpism.” In other words, Kelly and his allies were mainly appalled by Trump’s behavior and indiscipline, not by his record. As “Anonymous” wrote at the time:
To be clear, ours is not the popular “resistance” of the left. We want the administration to succeed and think that many of its policies have already made America safer and more prosperous….
Don’t get me wrong. There are bright spots that the near-ceaseless negative coverage of the administration fails to capture: effective deregulation, historic tax reform, a more robust military and more.
As for whether Taylor qualifies as a “senior official in the Trump administration,” as the Times described him when it published his op-ed, well, I’d say more no than yes. Chief of staff of a Cabinet department is not nothing, but I don’t think it’s what people imagine when they hear the phrase “senior official.”
I’d chalk it up as yet another in a pile of misjudgments by former editorial-page editor James Bennet.
Also: Chris Cuomo doesn’t seem to like Taylor too much. Click here or in the caption above to watch.
Correction. Kelly’s first name now fixed.