'You lied to us': CNN's Chris Cuomo challenges Miles Taylor on why he denied being the 'Anonymous' Trump whistleblower

Mayank Aggarwal
·2-min read
Taylor previously denied being behind the NYT's unattributed columnist back in August (YouTube/MSNBC)
Taylor previously denied being behind the NYT's unattributed columnist back in August (YouTube/MSNBC)

Miles Taylor, the former Trump administration official who has revealed his identity as the author of an op-ed and book critical of the president, has defended his decision to remain anonymous – even to the point of lying about it on live TV.

After Mr Taylor’s identity as the “Anonymous” author of an explosive New York Times op-ed about the inner workings of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), a CNN clip from August resurfaced in which he told CNN’s Anderson Cooper that he was not the writer, adding that he “only wears masks for two things: Halloweens and pandemics”.

Mr Taylor said the idea of being anonymous in the first place was to challenge Mr Trump on the merits of the ideas in question, rather than allow the president his usual tactic of responding with personal attacks to divert attention from criticism of his work.

Questioned by CNN’s Chris Cuomo on Wednesday, Mr Taylor said staying anonymous made it harder for the White House to challenge or deny the narrative of his 2019 book, entitled A Warning.

When prodded further by Cuomo on remaining anonymous during the interview with CNN's Cooper, Mr Taylor said this was a torturous decision and behind the scenes he was still asking others in the Trump administration to come out and tell the truth.  

He added that he has pledged almost all proceeds from the book to charity.  

Mr Trump has responded to Mr Taylor’s unmasking by calling on him to be “punished” and “prosecuted”.

“Who is Miles Taylor? Said he was “anonymous”, but I don’t know him - never even heard of him. Just another [NYTimes] SCAM - he worked in conjunction with them. Also worked for Big Tech’s [Google]. Now works for Fake News [CNN]. They should fire, shame, and punish everybody.... associated with this FRAUD on the American people!” Mr Trump tweeted.

And while speaking on Wednesday at a rally in Goodyear, Mr Trump said “Anonymous” turned out to be “a low-level staffer, a sleazebag, who has never worked in the White House”. Mr Trump called him "a disgruntled employee who was quickly removed from his job a long time ago for, they tell me, incompetence.”  

The Hill reported that a CNN spokesperson has confirmed Mr Taylor would be staying on as a contributor with the network.