Miles Taylor, the former Department of Homeland Security chief of staff, spoke with CNN‘s Chris Cuomo on Wednesday night. Earlier in the day, Taylor unveiled himself as the anonymous author who’d written a 2018 op-ed speaking out against President Donald Trump published by The New York Times and a book called A Warning. He left his position with DHS in April 2019.
During the interview with Cuomo, Taylor commented about the president and what he suggested the country do to migrants at the southern border of the United States.
“The president, at one point, wanted us to gas, electrify, and shoot migrants at the border,” he said.
“What we’re talking about, Chris, is innocent women and children who are seeking a better life in the United States fleeing violence and persecution, and the commander in chief is telling us he wants to gas them,” said Taylor.
He described meetings in the Oval Office during which Trump talked about how he wanted to seriously mistreat people, including many women and children, as they tried to cross into the country.
“Oval Office of the White House of the president of the United States, that he mused about shooting them.”
The former administration official said that people in attendance during those discussions were shocked. Then Trump walked back his assertions and instead suggested that authorities shoot them in the leg instead.
After that type of meeting, Taylor said that he and the other administration members who felt upset by the way things were going had discussions about whether they should resign right then or stay. He told Cuomo that they often chose to stay because they feared that Trump would replace them with sycophants who would not try to do the right things. Those people chose to stay and tell Trump that it wasn’t legal to do such things. Unfortunately, Taylor said, the president eventually reached a point on other issues where he went around them and did whatever he desired.
Before he came out as Anonymous, Taylor spoke out in his own name for a few months. He’d previously talked about the proposed policy on a podcast called The New Abnormal, Salon reported.
“He wanted to maim them, and tear gas them and shoot them,” Taylor said.
“And I’m not even being hyperbolic.”
During the interview, Cuomo did not give Taylor a pass for lying to Anderson Cooper and CNN, which has employed him as a contributor since August. Taylor explained that he hoped the policies and information would be debated without the type of personal attacks that Trump is prone to use against people who speak out against him.