Ex-Trump Official Says GOP Greater National Security Threat to U.S. Than ISIS, Al Qaeda

Former Trump administration official Miles Taylor has slammed the Republican Party, arguing that the GOP represents a greater threat to the country than U.S.-designated terrorist groups ISIS and Al Qaeda.

Taylor served as the chief of staff to the secretary of Homeland Security under former President Donald Trump from February 2019 to September 2019 and worked for the Department of Homeland Security in the previous administration for more than two years. However, Taylor went on to publicly condemn Trump and work with conservative groups to campaign against the former president ahead of the 2020 election.

During a Thursday evening interview with MSNBC, Taylor touted his credentials working in national security and said that the present-day Republican Party represents the "number one national security threat" to the country. Notably, Taylor still described himself as a member of the GOP.

"I'm a national security guy. I've worked in national security against ISIS and Al Qaeda and Russia," he said. "And the number one national security threat I've ever seen in my life to this country's democracy is the party that I'm in, the Republican Party." Taylor reiterated that the GOP "is the number one national security threat to the United States of America."

Trump supporters
Former Trump administration official Miles Taylor called the Republican Party the "number one national security threat to the United States of America." Pictured, Trump supporters clash with police and security forces as hundreds violently attack the U.S. Capitol Building in Washington, D.C. on Jan. 6. JOSEPH PREZIOSO/AFP via Getty Images

The former Trump administration official cautioned that if Republicans retake the House of Representatives in 2022 that it will "become a haunted house." He argued that Trump would be the "ghoul and the specter" haunting the legislative chamber. Taylor said that if House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, a California Republican, became Speaker of the House that it would "really be Donald Trump's hand on the speaker's gavel."

"The fact that Kevin McCarthy continues to pay homage to a twice-impeached presidential loser should give all Americans pause and make them worry about the future of this country," Taylor said.

Trump was impeached by the House of Representatives for a second time a week after he helped incite hundreds of his supporters to violently attack the U.S. Capitol in an effort to prevent the certification of President Joe Biden's election victory. Ten Republican members of the House voted with Democrats in that vote.

The former president's supporters stormed the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, as many held or wore Confederate flags and other racist symbols. The violent crowd was animated by Trump's false claims that the 2020 election was "rigged" or "stolen" by Democrats. Just prior to the insurrection, the then president urged his supporters to "fight like hell" to keep him in office at a rally near the White House.

When the Senate held the impeachment trial for the former president in February, seven Republicans voted with all 50 members of the chamber's Democratic caucus to convict the former president. Although this marked the most bipartisan presidential conviction vote in U.S. history, it fell short of the high constitutional threshold (a two-thirds majority) for a successful guilty verdict.

Meanwhile, Trump and his loyalist allies continue to spread lies and misinformation about the 2020 election. These baseless allegations have been thoroughly litigated and wholly discredited. Dozens of election challenge lawsuits filed by Trump and his supporters have failed in state and federal courts. Even judges appointed by Trump and other Republicans have rejected the allegations.

Recounts and audits in key battleground states, including in places where the election was overseen by pro-Trump Republicans, have reaffirmed Biden's win. Former Attorney General William Barr, who was widely viewed as one of Trump's most loyal Cabinet members, said in December that there was "no evidence" to support the claims of widespread voter fraud leading to Biden's victory. Furthermore, the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Agency at the Department of Homeland Security, which was led by a Trump appointee, asserted that the 2020 election was the "most secure in American history."

But a significant majority of Republicans appear to believe Trump's lies about the election results. Polling conducted by Quinnipiac in May found that two-thirds (66 percent) do not believe Biden is the legitimate president. Another May survey by Reuters/Ipsos showed that 53 percent of Republicans still believed Trump was the rightful president.

Key allies of the former president—such as My Pillow CEO Mike Lindell and other prominent conservatives—have been hosting or participating in routine rallies promoting false claims about the 2020 election. The events often attract thousands of Trump supporters who appear to accept the misinformation as factual, with many expressing a belief that control of the country's government has been stolen.

Taylor infamously penned an anonymous 2018 opinion article in The New York Times, describing himself and others as the "resistance" within the Trump administration. He later anonymously published a book titled A Warning in late 2019 about his time serving under the former president. Just ahead of the presidential election, in October 2020, Taylor revealed himself as the anonymous author of the article and the book.

Newsweek reached out to the Republican National Committee for comment.