Coalition Of Former Trump Staff Meet To Discuss Anti-Trump Strategy
About three dozen former Trump administration officials held a conference call last Monday. Several participants said that the meeting was held to discuss how to stop ex-President Donald Trump‘s efforts to harm the democratic process.
At the hour-long meeting, the group agreed that they did not know the proper way forward. They also acknowledged that they were far behind the progress that Trump and his allies have made for his continuing political career.
The highest-ranking known participant was former White House chief of staff and retired Marine Gen. John Kelly. Among the other members were former Trump White House communications directors Alyssa Farah Griffin and Anthony Scaramucci; Olivia Troye, former Homeland Security and counterterrorism advisor to former Vice President Mike Pence; Elizabeth Neumann, former Department of Homeland Security official; and Chris Krebs, former Director of the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency.
The group’s first meeting was held according to the traditional British policy, Chatham House Rules, in which no attendee can publicize the identity of any others. As such, the names of various participants currently remain unknown.
Many participants of the call have spoken publicly about their concerns about Trump. However, many had not. One member said that there were “a lot of faces I had not seen speaking publicly about why Trump is dangerous. People who had not previously spoken out who were now willing to speak out and share their perspective.”
Former DHS chief of staff Miles Taylor helped lead the call. He said that participants were “overflowing with ideas” on how to be most effective. Ideas ranged from “shining a light” on Trump’s corporate contributors to aiding in the election defeat of every candidate Trump has endorsed. That said, Kelly does not currently believe the best course of action is to endorse specific candidates.
One participant said that the group is “still trying to figure out” the best plan forward. However, they agreed that their actions needed to have tangible results. They decided that “this cannot just be a professional trolling operation, putting out ads like the Lincoln group.” The Lincoln Project was a coalition of Republicans who opposed Trump, and it ran ads to discourage his reelection.
“We all agreed passionately that letters and statements don’t mean anything,” Taylor said. “The two operative words are ‘electoral effects.’ How can we have tangible electoral effects against the extremist candidates that have been endorsed by Trump?”
The group must act quickly if it wishes to have any impact. Trump is actively endorsing candidates who support the baseless claims that undermine the 2020 presidential election. His support may result in victories for countless harmful candidates.
The group, which currently has no name, membership or specific goals, contains a diverse group of Republicans, many of whom have publicly opposed each other. However, Troye said there was “something powerful about the fact that not everyone on this call was friends. Whatever history there has been, they put that aside.”
The group is considering holding another call later this week.