Miles Taylor, a Google staffer, says he's 'Anonymous,' writer of essay critical of Trump

Also a former DHS official, Taylor has been criticized by Google employees for his role in the Trump administration's Muslim ban and family separation policies at the border.

Richard Nieva Former senior reporter
Richard Nieva was a senior reporter for CNET News, focusing on Google and Yahoo. He previously worked for PandoDaily and Fortune Magazine, and his writing has appeared in The New York Times, on CNNMoney.com and on CJR.org.
Richard Nieva
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Miles Taylor, a former Department of Homeland Security official who went to work for Google after his time with the Trump administration, said Wednesday that he's been at the center of a years-long guessing game in Washington, DC.

Taylor revealed himself to be "Anonymous," the unnamed author of a New York Times opinion essay from 2018 in which he said he was working from inside the administration to protect the country from the president. Taylor also said he wrote the book A Warning, which also roiled the beltway.

"Much has been made of the fact that these writings were published anonymously," Taylor wrote in his Wednesday blog post. "The decision wasn't easy, I wrestled with it, and I understand why some people consider it questionable to levy such serious charges against a sitting President under the cover of anonymity." 

Google confirmed Taylor has worked for the company since September 2018 but has been on unpaid leave since August. Taylor took his leave this summer as he announced his support for Vice President Joe Biden's presidential bid.

The tech giant's hiring of Taylor immediately came under fire from some of Google's rank-and-file employees, angry at his involvement with President Donald Trump's travel ban. As chief of staff to former DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen, Taylor publicly defended the policy that barred people from seven Muslim-majority countries from entering the US. Taylor was also involved with the Trump administration's policy to separate families at the Mexican-American border. 

Last November, members of the US House of Representatives sent a letter to Google CEO Sundar Pichai slamming the search giant's hiring of Taylor. It was signed by the chairs of three House caucuses representing racial minorities: Rep. Joaquin Castro of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, Rep. Karen Bass of the Congressional Black Caucus and Rep. Judy Chu of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus.

"We find it alarming when companies choose to reward and hire individuals that have played active roles in implementing cruel policies that target and hurt the communities we represent and Google is no exception," the letter said. 

When the travel ban was first enacted, in January 2017, Google's most senior leaders spoke out against the policy. Google co-founder Sergey Brin, an immigrant and refugee from Russia, joined protestors at San Francisco International Airport. Pichai reacted on Twitter to families being separated at the border, calling the situation "gut-wrenching" and called for a "more humane" solution.