Former Slicer takes on White House
Since graduating as valedictorian from LaPorte High School in 2006, Miles Taylor has lived an impressive life and made a notable career for himself.
Growing up in a small town like LaPorte paved the way for Taylor to make morally conscious decisions in a job and environment that is not so easy to do. Taylor is proud to call himself a Hoosier and LaPorte his hometown.
“I feel super grateful to have been a Hoosier and to have come from a town like LaPorte where you’re raised to do the right thing and feel bad when you don’t. There are not nearly as many folks in Washington D.C. that grew up the same way. Growing up in the hometown I did really grounds me when times get tough,” Taylor said.
Taylor went on to study international security studies at Indiana University-Bloomington, earning the Harry S. Truman and Herman B. Wells scholarships. He then went on to earn an international relations degree from New College Oxford, which he attended as a Marshall Scholar.
After college, Taylor decided to pursue a career in national security. This has been a passion of Taylor’s since he observed the events of September 11th unfold in real time while in 8th grade. The events had a profound effect on him, and they changed his life.
“I was in a sense born from the rubble of 9/11. The terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 really shook me. I always knew I wanted to work in public service, but from that day forward, I decided I wanted to make it my mission to prevent something like that from ever happening again,” Taylor said.
His passion for his country led Taylor to serve as the youngest presidential employee in the George W. Bush administration while he interned in the office of former Vice President Dick Cheney and in the office of the secretary of defense. In 2014, Taylor was named a Truman Governance Fellow and Foreign Policy Initiative “Future Leader.” He also served on the House Appropriations Committee.
All of these prestigious experiences took Taylor quickly up the ladder in D.C. Taylor earned a spot at the Department of Homeland Security working under General John Kelly as a counterterrorism adviser and then serving as chief of staff for Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen.
There Taylor sat in meetings with the Homeland Security team that involved discussions about immigration, the family separation policies, and foreign policy. He made visits to the border to oversee the wall being built and was involved in discussions regarding such. He helped participate in decision making that involved federal spending and security related programs. He spent time in the Oval Office and aboard Air Force One.
It was during this time that Taylor began feeling unnerved about the behaviors and policies of certain members in the Trump administration.
The biggest problem Taylor witnessed with the Trump administration and the president himself is that of national security threats.
“I watched first hand that the president had greater interest in developing relationships with Vladimir Putin of Russia, President Xi of China, Kim Jong Un of North Korea, and any number of other dictators around the world who are hellbent on undermining the United States of America. The president has alienated some of our closest friends and allies around the world,” Taylor said.
Taylor is also unhappy with the immigration standards the president is implementing and lack of attention to the climate crisis in the country. Taylor describes the policies as “un-American and unwelcoming.”
“Donald Trump has turned the US into fortress America and has sent a signal that people who are striving for freedom and a better life are not welcome here. Everyday I had to fight back against the White House trying to implement divisive policies that make America look like a nation that was anti-immigrant,” Taylor said.
Taylor knows the risks of what speaking out against the president could result in; however, the necessity to speak his truth and do his part to fix the broken America the president has made, in his opinion, was greater than the risks.
“After spending time with this man, it became very clear that he was incapable of doing his job on a daily basis. The president has created a culture of intimidation and fear in Washington D.C. He’s made people worry for their jobs, their families, and even their lives if they speak out against him. I was hoping other senior people, especially cabinet secretaries from this administration would speak out. I got to a point where I realized that someone needs to start saying these things. It would have been easier to stay home and stay quiet, but at some point, conscience comes knocking,” Taylor said.
Taylor left his job at the Department of Homeland Security in 2019 after observing, in his opinion, corruption and immoral actions at the hands of President Donald Trump. Leaving was not enough for Taylor. He found it imperative to speak up about what he saw and to try to shine a light on his experiences with the president and his staff.
In August, Taylor decided to speak out against the egregious behaviors he saw play out in the White House during his time in the administration. He wrote and published an op-ed article in the Washington Post accompanied with an ad relaying the same message. Taylor has also been speaking out on Twitter and appearing on numerous news outlets.
Taylor knew that by speaking out against the president and sharing his experiences in the White House he would be putting himself in the spotlight and potentially endangering himself. He knew that there would not be many personal or financial perks, but still wanted to speak his truth and do the right thing for his conscience and love of country.
“Some people might say I’m just doing this to get famous and to cash in, but I’ll tell you right now I’m hemorrhaging money because I took a step away from my job, unpaid. You get beat up from both sides in the media, you basically get kicked out of the party that you came up in and there’s physical security threats as well, because the president instigates his internet trolls to go after people. But despite it all, I would do it all again in a heartbeat,” Taylor said.
Taylor’s push to inform America of what he saw has forced him to take a leave of absence from his current position at Google in cybersecurity that he landed after leaving the DHS. This job included acting as the bridge between Google and federal agencies such as the FBI, CIA, the Pentagon, and the Department of Homeland Security.
“Google has found all sorts of incredible ways to help the United States respond to the Coronavirus pandemic, to help agencies such as the Department of Defense protect Americans, and to look far out at some of the emerging threats in the future and then come up with incredible ways to help mitigate those dangers,” Taylor said.
Taking a leave of absence from Google has also given Taylor the ability to launch Republican Political Alliance for Integrity and Reform (REPAIR), an organization that is focused on mending the Republican party and fixing the country in the wake of Donald Trump’s presidency. He wants to use this platform to convince people around the ideas that he believes can unify the country and figure out how, as a country, the United States can become more unified.
“We bring together senior officials from every recent Republican administration, including people who have left the Trump administration and focus on how to make the Republican party a more inclusive, idea-spoken party rather than one created by Donald Trump,” Taylor said.
During this time, even though being a lifelong Republican, he endorsed presidential candidate and former Vice President Joe Biden. Taylor has been outspoken about his support for Biden and how he feels Biden should be our next president, even producing an ad for Republican Voters Against Trump that showed support for Biden. Taylor is the first former senior staff member in the Trump administration and the highest ranking former member of said administration to endorse Biden.
Taylor is a firm believer in always doing the right, moral thing, which may not always be the easiest choice. He believes that even though making the right decision may be difficult, it will be worth it in the long run as putting character first and doing right by one’s beliefs will result in a weight being lifted off one’s soul and conscience.
“In this country, we’re facing a big question. That question is not who is right or who is left, Republican, Democrat, it’s about right and wrong. Everyone can help make that choice in their daily lives by making the moral choice and putting character first. Character is really what matters,” Taylor said.
As proud as Taylor is to be from LaPorte, the community is even more proud to see him demonstrate strong morals and the importance of doing the right thing, especially in tough situations. Taylor’s values and willingness to stand up for what he believes in is exactly what Slicers do and who they are.
You can find Miles Taylor on Twitter, @MilesTaylorUSA and his organization, REPAIR @RepairRepublic.