Politics Ex-Pence aide blasts Trump over Covid response, says she’ll vote for Biden
Former Pence aide slams Trump administration's coronavirus response, says she's voting for Biden
A former aide to Vice President Mike Pence slammed the Trump administration's response to the coronavirus pandemic and said she will vote for Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden.Olivia Troye, who was Pence's leading aide on the White House's coronavirus task force, cut an ad for the group Republican Voters Against Trump in which she claimed the president cares about no one but himself.
In an ad released on Thursday, a former senior adviser on the White House coronavirus task force lambasted President Donald Trump as a stonewalling, capricious leader with more concern for his reelection than the pandemic, and said she would be voting for his Democratic rival, Joe Biden, in November.
Olivia Troye, who worked as an adviser on counterterrorism and homeland security to Vice President Mike Pence before leaving the administration in August, appeared inin which she shared damning anecdotes that portrayed Trump as a debilitating actor in the administration’s efforts to contain the virus. She said Trump was dismissive toward the task force’s efforts to prepare for the outbreak from early in the year, before the virus had made heavy inroads into the U.S.
Former top Pence aide says White House officials wanted to get rid of the coronavirus task force as the pandemic raged in April
Vice President Mike Pence's former top aide on the coronavirus task force says Trump showed a "flat-out disregard for human life.""In the middle of a pandemic, how could you do that?" she said.
“It was shocking to see the president saying that the virus was a hoax, saying that everything’s OK when we know that it’s not,” Troye said. “He doesn’t actually care about anyone else but himself.”
Troye also asserted that Trump said during a meeting: “Maybe this Covid thing’s a good thing. I don’t like shaking hands with people. I don’t have to shake hands with these disgusting people.”
That remark, Troye said, encapsulated the president’s flippant attitude toward a pandemic that has since claimed nearly 200,000 American lives.
Troye is an avowed Republican, and the ad was run by the group Republican Voters Against Trump. The Washington Post firstTroye’s frustrations with her previous role.
Yosemite National Park closes as wildfires scorch West Coast
The federal government-run air quality monitor, Airnow.gov, showed that pollutant levels in the park were so high they exceeded the site’s index. Dangerous air quality is expected in the park, which is spread across nearly 1,200 square miles in the Sierra Nevada Mountains, for the next several days, the park service said. It isn’t clear when Yosemite will reopen.Two wildfires were burning in or near the park, including the massive Creek Fire to the south.
The White House promptly rebuffed the allegations, using its frequent defense against personnel-turned-critics by saying that Troye was a disgruntled and vindictive ex-staffer. White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnanyThursday night a letter by Troye after her departure from the White House. It praised the task force’s work combating the disease.
“I have witnessed first hand how dedicated and committed all of you have been to doing the right thing,” the letter said.
But Troye’s criticisms were directed at the president specifically, not the administration. In the ad, she said working with the task force was the “opportunity and honor of a lifetime.”
“I put my heart and soul into this role every single day,” she said in the ad. “But at some points I would come home at night, I would look myself in the mirror and say, are you really making a difference? Because no matter how hard you work or what you do, the president is going to do something detrimental to keeping Americans safe.”
Dueling Trump, Biden events in battleground states sets tone for upcoming debates
Trump is in a tough re-election battle with national polls showing him lagging behind Biden as Nov. 3 quickly approaches. Their first debate is slated for Sept. 29 in Cleveland on Fox News.The president fired up his hundreds of supporters that gathered at an airport hangar in Mosinee, which is a country he won in 2016. Trump's campaign is focusing on turning out base supporters in more rural parts of the state in order to offset deficits he is expected to face against Biden in cities and suburbs.Few attendees wore face masks and supporters stood elbow-to-elbow, making no effort to social distance.
Her letter likewise praised her colleagues and her work with Pence, but did not mention Trump.
Speaking with reporters on Thursday evening before departing for a campaign rally in Wisconsin, Trump said that “I have no idea who she is.” He then said Troye was dismissed from her post and “then she wrote a beautiful letter.”
The White House chief of staff, Mark Meadows, later told reporters aboard Air Force One: “It’s the swamp fighting back. It’s, generally speaking, disgruntled employees.”
Asked by a reporter what Troye was disgruntled about and whether she was fired, Meadows responded, “I can’t speak to personnel matters.”
Video: Mary Trump: ‘Nobody tells as many lies on purpose’ as Pres. Trump (MSNBC)
2020 Daily Trail Markers: Pence says Trump is "anxious" to move forward with SCOTUS nominee process .
CBS News anchor and managing editor Norah O'Donnell spoke Monday with the vice president.One of the women being considered to replace Ginsburg is U.S. Court of Appeals Judge Amy Coney Barrett, who CBS News has learned met with Mr. Trump at the White House on Monday. Pence said he is convinced that Barrett and other finalists for the role will "interpret the Constitution in a way that's consistent with the great tradition of Justice Antonin Scalia." The administration's objective is "to appoint pro-life jurists to our federal courts at every level," Pence said.