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Mehdi Hasan, Miles Taylor Lock Horns on Family Separations

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Mehdi Hasan wound up in a tense conversation with Miles Taylor when the MSNBC host tried to hold the former Department of Homeland Security chief of staff personally responsible for Donald Trump’s family separation policy.

Taylor joined Hasan on Sunday to discuss his upcoming book warning of Trump’s potential re-election in 2024, as well as the possibility a “savvier successor” will emerge to lead the Republican Party into a new era of Trumpism. The book is expected to draw, in part, from Taylor’s experience when he penned the anonymous New York Times article describing a hidden faction of Trump administration officials working to protect the country from the former president.

In Taylor’s interview with Hasan, the MSNBC host confronted him with a 2020 Buzzfeed report accusing Taylor of “actively” advancing and defending Trump’s immigration policies.

“How do you square that with the public opposition you now have to authoritarianism and Trumpism?” Hasan asked. “Would you like to apologize tonight to the parents and kids whose lives were permanently damaged by family separation during the Trump first term?”

Taylor pushed back by first defending his efforts to undercut Trump:

I was never a MAGA person. I didn’t vote for Donald Trump for President. I tried to help with Paul Ryan’s efforts to create a Trump inoculation plan to prevent him from being the nominee. Clearly we failed spectacularly. There was no one I knew that thought going into the Trump administration was going to be beneficial to a career. It was clear that it was career suicide to go in. But mentors of mine, like John Kelly, I think were very attuned to the danger and I did think that it was very important to try to protect the Department of Homeland Security from his whims.

On the subject of family separation, Taylor said “I was actively involved in trying to get them to not implement” the policy. This prompted Hasan to once again cite Buzzfeed’s reporting on Trump sources who claimed Taylor was “not vocally opposed” to the administration’s immigration policies.

Taylor’s response:

Well, Mehdi, a lot of those people probably weren’t people who got to actually be in the room for the real conversations. I would urge people to go read probably the most definitive history of family separation, again written by Caitlin Dickerson at The Atlantic. Look, love her or hate Kirstjen Nielsen, when they took a vote at the White House about whether to move forward with Jeff Sessions’ family separation policy at DOJ — and I wasn’t there at those meetings — she was the only person to vote against it. Because it was evident, Mehdi, that it was going to be a humanitarian catastrophe. So despite the fact that I knew nothing about immigration policy — what was my involvement? I helped co-write the executive order to end it. The moment after that policy became public, to me it was horrific, it was a reason people needed to resign.

Taylor concluded by emphasizing the policy “was not my responsibility,” and warning that Trump would re-instate the policy “on steroids” if re-elected.

Watch above via MSNBC.

Have a tip we should know? [email protected]




Mehdi Hasan wound up in a tense conversation with Miles Taylor when the MSNBC host tried to hold the former Department of Homeland Security chief of staff personally responsible for Donald Trump’s family separation policy.

Taylor joined Hasan on Sunday to discuss his upcoming book warning of Trump’s potential re-election in 2024, as well as the possibility a “savvier successor” will emerge to lead the Republican Party into a new era of Trumpism. The book is expected to draw, in part, from Taylor’s experience when he penned the anonymous New York Times article describing a hidden faction of Trump administration officials working to protect the country from the former president.

In Taylor’s interview with Hasan, the MSNBC host confronted him with a 2020 Buzzfeed report accusing Taylor of “actively” advancing and defending Trump’s immigration policies.

“How do you square that with the public opposition you now have to authoritarianism and Trumpism?” Hasan asked. “Would you like to apologize tonight to the parents and kids whose lives were permanently damaged by family separation during the Trump first term?”

Taylor pushed back by first defending his efforts to undercut Trump:

I was never a MAGA person. I didn’t vote for Donald Trump for President. I tried to help with Paul Ryan’s efforts to create a Trump inoculation plan to prevent him from being the nominee. Clearly we failed spectacularly. There was no one I knew that thought going into the Trump administration was going to be beneficial to a career. It was clear that it was career suicide to go in. But mentors of mine, like John Kelly, I think were very attuned to the danger and I did think that it was very important to try to protect the Department of Homeland Security from his whims.

On the subject of family separation, Taylor said “I was actively involved in trying to get them to not implement” the policy. This prompted Hasan to once again cite Buzzfeed’s reporting on Trump sources who claimed Taylor was “not vocally opposed” to the administration’s immigration policies.

Taylor’s response:

Well, Mehdi, a lot of those people probably weren’t people who got to actually be in the room for the real conversations. I would urge people to go read probably the most definitive history of family separation, again written by Caitlin Dickerson at The Atlantic. Look, love her or hate Kirstjen Nielsen, when they took a vote at the White House about whether to move forward with Jeff Sessions’ family separation policy at DOJ — and I wasn’t there at those meetings — she was the only person to vote against it. Because it was evident, Mehdi, that it was going to be a humanitarian catastrophe. So despite the fact that I knew nothing about immigration policy — what was my involvement? I helped co-write the executive order to end it. The moment after that policy became public, to me it was horrific, it was a reason people needed to resign.

Taylor concluded by emphasizing the policy “was not my responsibility,” and warning that Trump would re-instate the policy “on steroids” if re-elected.

Watch above via MSNBC.

Have a tip we should know? [email protected]

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