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Trump held up and waved classified documents around in front of reporters at the Oval Office, says former Homeland Security aide

Former President Donald Trump in the Oval Office.

Erin Schaff-Pool/Getty Images

  • A former aide told MSNBC that Trump was “mind-numbingly incompetent” at protecting classified information.
  • Miles Taylor said they worried Trump would leak information to the public or foreign adversaries.
  • Taylor said Trump once waved around classified documents in front of reporters and a photographer.

Aides were scared to give former President Donald Trump classified information because they feared he would leak it, former Homeland Security aide Miles Taylor told MSNBC on Friday.

Taylor served as chief of staff to the secretary of the Department of Homeland Security during the Trump administration.

Taylor made the comments while discussing a New York Times article that called out Republicans who criticized Hillary Clinton for her emails but remain silent about reports that Trump took boxes of White House documents to Mar-a-Lago.

Taylor said that Republicans were being hypocritical and that Trump was “mind-numbingly incompetent” when protecting classified information.


“It’s not just that he criticized Clinton and then did something similar. He did something vastly worse on multiple occasions, so much so that we were scared, legitimately scared, to take sensitive classified information into the Oval Office and tell the president of the United States about it,” Taylor said.

“We would talk about it before we would go in when we got certain briefs — ‘can we talk to the president about this?’ Because there was a worry, he would leak information to the public, to foreign adversaries.”

Taylor said that the former president waved around classified documents in front of reporters and photographers in the Oval Office on one occasion.

“He had classified information on his desk, and he grabbed it and held it up and waved it in the air to brag about how he gets really important information,” Taylor said.

“I mean, our jaws hit the floor. There was also a photographer in the room.”

Although the reporters and photographer did not ultimately capture the classified information, Taylor said it was an example of “how reckless this man was.”

Taylor said he wished his fellow Republicans would hold Trump to account and condemn reports that he and his staffers moved, burned, and flushed presidential documents.

Taylor later revealed himself to have been the author of a September 2018 New York Times op-ed titled “I Am Part of the Resistance Inside the Trump Administration,” published under the name “Anonymous.”

He ultimately became an outspoken critic of Trump and endorsed Joe Biden in the 2020 presidential election.

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