Trump official says U.S. 'less secure' due to president's actions, endorses Biden
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A former high-ranking Trump administration official said on Monday the United States is “less secure” under the Republican president as he endorsed Democratic challenger Joe Biden for November’s election.
Miles Taylor, who served at the Department of Homeland Security between 2017 and 2019, including as chief of staff, said he “witnessed the damning results firsthand” of what he called President Donald Trump’s “personal deficiencies.”
“I can attest that the country is less secure as a direct result of the president’s actions,” Taylor wrote in an op-ed published in the Washington Post on the day the Democrats kick off a four-day virtual convention to nominate Biden.
“Today the nation has fewer friends and stronger enemies than when Trump took office.”
In a statement to Reuters, White House Deputy Press Secretary Judd Deere called Taylor “another creature of the D.C. Swamp who never understood the importance of the President’s agenda or why the American people elected him and clearly just wants to cash-in.”
DHS did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Taylor is one of the most senior former Trump officials to endorse Biden, the former vice president who has a solid lead in most opinion polls for the Nov. 3 election. He called Trump’s presidency “dangerously chaotic.”
“Even though I’m not a Democrat, even though I disagree on key issues, I’m confident that Joe Biden will protect the country and I’m confident he won’t make the same mistakes as this president,” Taylor said in an ad to support Biden released on Monday by Republican Voters Against Trump, an anti-Trump advocacy group.
Trump’s “inappropriate and often absurd executive requests” meant DHS staffers were regularly taken away from dealing with genuine security concerns, Taylor said in his op-ed.
“One morning it might be a demand to shut off congressionally appropriated funds to a foreign ally that had angered him, and that evening it might be a request to sharpen the spikes atop the border wall so they’d be more damaging to human flesh,” Taylor wrote.
Multiple states ready suit against Trump admin over mail-in voting fears
A group of Democratic state attorneys general are now in the final stages of preparing legal action against the Trump administration for recent cost-cutting changes made to the United States Postal Service, a lawsuit that one official said could demand a halt to any cutbacks that could impede mail-in voting.
As many as 10 state attorneys general are now involved, two state officials involved in the effort told ABC News. Among them is New York’s Letitia James, who called recent changes at the postal agency “deeply disturbing” in a statement released Monday.
“I, along with numerous other state attorneys general from around the nation, are now swiftly examining every legal option to protect the postal service and Americans’ right to vote absentee,” James said.
MORE: Mail-in voting rules in 46 states may leave some ballots uncounted, USPS warns
The suit is expected to mount two major constitutional challenges to the recent cutbacks, according to one of the officials, a state government attorney. States will assert that the federal government is trying to impede their constitutional right to oversee their own elections. And they will argue that the Trump administration is interfering with every American’s individual right to participate in the election.
The lawsuit will also argue that Postmaster General Louis DeJoy failed to follow administrative procedures when he made cuts to overtime and decommissioned equipment – steps the states will ask the courts to halt, the attorney said.
Some of the elected officials involved sought to hold back further details on the lawsuit, which the two sources said could land as early as Tuesday.
“I’m not going to give away our whole strategy,” said Connecticut Attorney General William Tong on Monday morning on MSNBC. “But we have a plan to address the service breakdowns that have already occurred.”
The attorneys general from Connecticut and New York have joined a growing list of state leaders including those from Virginia, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Minnesota and Washington — all Democrats — in discussing how to sue the administration, sources said. Those conversations remain ongoing.
Asked about the impending lawsuit, White House Deputy Press Sarah Matthews dismissed it.
“Politically motivated lawsuits are not rooted in giving Americans the power of the vote,” Matthews said in a statement to ABC News. “While Democrats are spreading baseless conspiracy theories about the Trump administration’s assistance to the USPS to score political points, President Trump will continue to work to ensure the security and integrity of our elections.”
The United States Postal Service did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Maryland Attorney General Brian Frosh, a Democrat, said his office has been inundated with letters and calls raising concerns about the potential for cutbacks at the Post Office to impede voting.
“Trump attacks on the postal service are designed to disrupt the election,” Frosh said. “They strike at the core of our democracy. That is bad enough, but he and DeJoy are also hurting innocent bystanders: Americans who are waiting for their medicine or their social security checks. This conduct is harmful, illegal, and unconstitutional. We will take whatever steps necessary to protect Marylanders.”
(MORE: Citing ‘customer concerns,’ Postal Service says it will halt mailbox removals)
With more Americans expected to vote by mail in the upcoming election than ever before, Democrats have raised the issue with a series of cost-cutting reforms enacted by DeJoy, a longtime Republican financier and Trump donor who was appointed in May.
Reporting by Moira Warburton; Editing by Mary Milliken and Dan Grebler
Photo via Good Free Photos