Ex-Pence Aide Goes After Donald Trump in New Ad, Says He's Putting Law Enforcement in Harms Way

Vice President Mike Pence's former Homeland Security and Counterterrorism adviser Olivia Troye continues to speak out against President Donald Trump, but this time she's addressing his law and order campaign.

In the latest Republican Voters Against Trump (RVAT) ad, Troye said Trump wants protesters to continue taking to the streets so that he can deploy federal forces, who she argued are being put in danger so Trump can appeal to voters.

"He wants people out on the street," she said. "The president claims to be for law enforcement. He is putting our law enforcement in harm's way purposefully because he thinks it serves his agenda."

On Wednesday, two police officers in Louisville were shot during protests after demonstrators took to the streets to protest a grand jury decision not to bring charges against the officers who shot and killed Breonna Taylor.

Troye also called the clash between protesters and officers in Lafayette Square the "breaking point" of her two years at the White House, referring to the June 1 incident when law enforcement officers used tear gas and other riot control measures to clear out a crowd of protesters, creating a path for Trump and his administration to walk from the White House to St. John's Episcopal Church. At the church, Trump held up a bible while posing for a photo op.

"Watching someone carry a bible and clear out peaceful protesters in a fairly violent way, as a person of faith, it was a really dark moment," she said. "That was the moment where I really had to sit down and dig deep and say no matter how hard I work, it doesn't matter because the president is so disconnected from the reality of the problems across our country."

Portland Officers
A journalist runs past federal officers after he was caught behind a police line during a protest against racial injustice and police brutality in front of the Mark O. Hatfield U.S. Courthouse in the early hours of July 30, 2020 in Portland, Oregon. Former Trump aide Olivia Troye said President Donald Trump is purposefully putting law enforcement officers in harm's way. Nathan Howard/Stringer

The president's response to the national protests that erupted in the wake of George Floyd's death has been criticized for use of force. Trump deployed federal forces to major cities, like Portland, Seattle and Washington D.C., where officers in some cases operated aggressively while using unmarked vehicles.

Troye, in the new ad, sent a message to her old colleagues who have worked with or are still working with the Trump administration.

"If you're going to speak out, right now is when it matters most. We've all lived it. We know that President Trump cares only about himself," she said. "Given where we are as a country, now is the time to tell the truth."

The former staffer has also been critical about Trump's coronavirus response.

Troye, who was the lead staffer on Pence's coronavirus task force, said in another RVAT ad that the team had known since February that COVID-19 would reach pandemic levels but the president continued to downplay the severity of the virus. She said the president suggested that the coronavirus may be a good thing because he would not have to shake hands with his supporters, who Troye said he referred to as "disgusting people."

She officially endorsed Democratic nominee Joe Biden for president on September 17.