How Do You Solve a Problem Like Trump?
“People ask me this all the time, ‘Why the hell did you stay?’ ” explains Miles Taylor, the former chief of staff for the Department of Homeland Security under the Trump administration and founder of the Republican Political Alliance for Integrity and Reform (REPAIR). “And my response is: If you saw what was happening, why the hell wouldn’t you stay if you cared about your country?” On today’s episode, Miles Taylor gives Sarah and Steve an inside scoop as to what it’s like working for a president who constantly gives you orders to break the law and who believes he has “magical powers” to do whatever he wants. The most frustrating part of his job as DHS chief of staff, he said, was watching high officials who expressed disdain for the president in private but refused to speak up when it mattered most. “There was another time that we were in [the Oval Office] and he went off on a tirade about the Mexicans,” Taylor explains, “In the conversations he said, ‘Look, Mexico is just a total hellhole, isn’t it? It’s just a total hellhole.’ And he kind of looked around the room for agreement, and he was like, ‘Right? You know I can’t say shithole countries anymore but it’s a hellhole, right?” Taylor said most people in the room—except for one official who Taylor didn’t name—laughed it off and nodded rather than standing up to the president.
Taylor said he and his colleagues went into that administration recognizing that Donald Trump was a man of pretty poor character, but there was a hope that the office itself would perhaps change the president for the better. “I really think once he had the powers of the presidency, he got drunk on the powers of the presidency and they did not have that sobering effect, they had a very inebriating effect on President Trump and magnified some of his worst impulses.” Tune in to hear Miles explain what it’s like having a Trump tweet change the trajectory of your entire day as a DHS staffer, whether Republicans should vote for Biden this election cycle, and how REPAIR hopes to fix the GOP in the post-Trump era. If anything, tune just in to hear Taylor explain why “every single day in the Donald Trump administration was a pride swallowing siege.”