Former U.S. Homeland Security chief of staff outs himself as 'Anonymous' who wrote criticism of Trump

Former U.S. Homeland Security chief of staff outs himself as 'Anonymous' who wrote criticism of Trump

A former official in U.S. President Donald Trump's administration who penned a scathing anti-Trump op-ed and book under the pen name "Anonymous" made his identity public Wednesday.

Miles Taylor, a former chief of staff at the U.S. Department of Homeland Security said in a tweet: "Donald Trump is a man without character. It's why I wrote A Warning ... and it's why me & my colleagues have spoken out against him (in our own names) for months. It's time for everyone to step out of the shadows."

Taylor has been an outspoken critic of Trump's in recent months, and has a contributor contract on CNN.

Taylor's anonymous essay was published in 2018 by The New York Times, infuriating the president and setting off a frantic White House leak investigation to try to unmask the author.

In the essay, the person, who at the time identified themselves only as a senior administration official, said they were part of a secret "resistance" force out to counter Trump's "misguided impulses" and undermine parts of his agenda.

Donald Trump is a man without character. It’s why I wrote “A Warning”...and it’s why me & my colleagues have spoken out against him (in our own names) for months. It’s time for everyone to step out of the shadows. My statement: https://t.co/yuhTgZ4bkq@MilesTaylorUSA

"Many Trump appointees have vowed to do what we can to preserve our democratic institutions, while thwarting Mr. Trump's more misguided impulses until he is out of office," read the essay.

The allegations incensed the president, bolstering his allegations about a "deep state" operating within his government and conspiring against him.

And it set off a guessing game that seeped into the White House, with current and former staffers trading calls and texts, trying to figure out who could have written the piece.

Trump's campaign press secretary called Taylor's revelation Wednesday, "... the least impressive, lamest political 'reveal' of all time."

Hogan Gidley said in a statement that Taylor "loved President Trump until he figured out he could try to make money by attacking him." 

Trump, who had long complained about leaks in the White House, had ordered aides to unmask the writer, citing "national security" concerns to justify a possible Justice Department investigation. And he issued an extraordinary demand that the newspaper reveal the author.

Instead, the author pressed forward, penning a follow-up book published last November called A Warning, that continued to paint a disturbing picture of the president, describing him as volatile, incompetent and unfit to be commander in chief.

Trump "stumbles, slurs, gets confused, is easily irritated, and has trouble synthesizing information," the author alleged, also citing racist and misogynist statements they claimed Trump made behind closed doors.

Then-White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham slammed the author as a "coward" for remaining anonymous, charging that they "didn't put their name on it because it is nothing but lies."