Olivia Troye, a former aide to Vice President Mike Pence who left her post this month and has been highly critical of the coronavirus task force’s work, on Tuesday accused General Keith Kellogg of lying when he told reporters that he personally fired her and “escorted her” out of the White House.
Troye came out publicly in support of Joe Biden on September 17 and said she blamed President Donald Trump for the number of coronavirus cases and deaths in the United States in an anti-Trump video and an interview with the Washington Post.
The White House played defense during a press briefing on Tuesday, September 22, with Kellogg telling reporters he personally fired Troye and impugning the work she did with the Coronavirus Task Force. White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany referred to Troye as a “profile in cowardice” and attacked Mile Taylor, a former Department of Homeland Security official who has also spoken out against the administration.
Here’s what you need to know:
Kellogg Said That Troye ‘Worked for Me & I Fired Her’ & That He Is ‘Not Proud of Her’
During her Tuesday White House Press briefing, McEnany brought Kellogg to the podium to arrest the allegations Troye has made against the administration.
Kellogg serves as Pence’s national security advisor and also performs some duties with the Coronavirus Task Force; he claimed Tuesday to have sat in virtually every meeting that Trump and Pence also attended on the pandemic. He also flatly denied Troye’s allegations and impugned her work on the task force.
“Olivia Troye worked for me, and I fired her,” Kellogg said. “The reason I fired her was that her performance started to drop after six months as a backbencher.”
Kellogg claimed that once Troye’s “level dropped off,” he went to Pence and recommended that she leave. “I’m the one who escorted her off the compound,” he said.
He went on to praise the work of the task force, claiming to have been to “every single meeting” and never witnessing anything Troye claimed happened.
“I’m very proud of the President of the United States. I’m very proud of the Vice President of the United States. I’m very proud of the task force and the work it’s done. I am not proud of Olivia Troye,” Kellogg concluded.
Several reporters tried to ask Kellogg coronavirus-related questions, but McEnany did not allow it at the briefing.
McEnany Went on to Attack Troye Further, Calling Her & Former DHS Chief of Staff Miles Taylor ‘Profiles in Cowardice’
After Kellogg stepped from the podium, McEnany went further in her criticisms of Troye — as well as Miles Taylor, the former Department of Homeland Security Chief of Staff who in August wrote a Washington Post op-ed alleging that Trump made national security decisions almost exclusively with his re-election in mind and made the nation less safe.
What we have here … are not profiles in courage, but profiles in cowardice. Less than two months ago, Olivia Troye proudly declared that she was serving and it was the ohnor of her life. She said, ‘I have witnessed firsthand how dedicated and committed all of you have been to doing the right thing.’ That was about a month and a half ago.
Olivia Troye failed to speak up and she struggled to keep up, because she was constantly complaining of how exhausted and overwhelmed she was … Her detail was cut short and now she’s cutting commercials for a fringe club of ‘Never-Trumpers’ who are desperate for relevance, and the price of admission to this club is fabricated smears and flat-out lies against the President.
When McEnany moved to Taylor, her comments were even more personal. She claimed that Taylor has “posed for a photo with the president, smiling ear to ear” and “claimed it was the honor of his lifetime” to serve in DHS>
“But Miles couldn’t go the distance,” McEnany added. “Those that knew him during his short time in the administration knew he could not get results.”
“He can now rest easy at Google, having earned his anti-Trump credentials and the approval of his big-tech peers,” she concluded.
Troye Claimed That Kellogg Was Telling a ‘Bald-Faced Lie’ & Taylor Backed Her Up With a CNN Op-Ed
Taylor and Troye both hit back on Twitter during the press briefing. Troye said that Kellogg was telling a “bald-faced lie to protect the president.”
“I resigned on my own accord and was asked to stay,” she added. “He never escorted me out. He knows this. I wrote a note thanking all the colleagues who had worked so hard with me in spite of [Trump] and I stand by that.”
She also posted an Instagram image of a coin she claimed Kellogg gifted her as thanks for her hard work.
“This gift is not the action of someone who did what Kellogg claims he did,” she said.
Taylor also disputed Kellogg and McEnany’s comments. “The truth drives this White House crazy,” he said. “My feelings aren’t hurt, [McEnany]. But you didn’t specifically deny what I’ve said about [Trump]. That’s because it’s all real. And y’all are worried about Americans hearing it.”
And later on Tuesday, Taylor penned an op-ed for CNN in which he denied a number of the administration’s claims about Troye, including that she was a “lower-level person” and never met the president.
Troye also said Trump was lying when he claimed never to have met him.
“He has pretended that I didn’t see him in meetings in the Oval Office, White House Situation Room, Air Force One flights, threat briefings and more while serving as chief of staff at the Department of Homeland Security in his administration,” Taylor said.
“Trump can’t dismiss [our] criticism as ‘fake news’ from anonymous sources,” he continued. “We aren’t hiding. We are named witnesses to Donald Trump’s unfitness for office.”