GOP group launches new ad featuring ex-Trump DHS official endorsing Biden | TheHill – The Hill

Miles Taylor, who served as chief of staff to former Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen NielsenKirstjen Michele NielsenSchumer calls for Wolf, Cuccinelli to step down after watchdog says their appointments violate law Government watchdog finds top Trump DHS officials are ineligible for their positions Trump’s acting ICE chief to leave post MORE, endorsed former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenBiden’s lead over Trump narrows in new national poll Biden faces hurdles in bid to mend ties with US allies Trump ‘failure’ on COVID-19 will be central message of Biden convention MORE in a new ad released Monday, in which he also called the Trump presidency “terrifying.”

“What we saw, week in and week out, and for me, 2 1/2 years in that administration, was terrifying,” Taylor said in an ad from the group Republican Voters Against Trump. Taylor goes on to claim that when Department of Homeland Security (DHS) staffers attempted to discuss national security issues with Trump, “he wasn’t interested in those things. … To him, they weren’t priorities.”

Taylor asserts Trump sought to “exploit the Department of Homeland Security for his own political purposes and to fuel his own agenda,” claiming Trump attempted to cut off federal wildfire aid to California because Californians did not support him. He also hits Trump on immigration, claiming the president wanted to “go further” than the zero tolerance policy that led to child separations and “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.”

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Trump, Taylor claims, frequently issued illegal orders to DHS and “didn’t want us to tell him it was illegal anymore because he knew that … he had ‘magical authorities.’”

“Given what I experienced in the administration, I have to support Joe Biden for president,” Taylor adds.

Taylor published an op-ed in The Washington Post Monday condemning the president on similar grounds. The op-ed blasts Trump’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic, stating “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.”

The group released the ad the same day several Republican figures are set to address the virtual Democratic National Convention. Scheduled speakers Monday evening include former Ohio Gov. John Kasich, former New Jersey Gov. Christine Whitman, former Hewlett Packard CEO Meg Whitman and former Rep. Susan Molinari (N.Y.).

Critics of the president have also cited condemnation by former DHS officials of his deployment of federal forces to Portland, Ore. Former directors Tom Ridge and Michael Chertoff have both spoken against the deployment.

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