Former Pence Staffer Condemns Trump’s “Flat Out Disregard for Human Life”

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Another former member of President Donald Trump’s administration has denounced him and endorsed his Democratic opponent. This time it’s Oliva Troye—a former adviser to Vice President Mike Pence on homeland security and counter-terrorism and member of the White House’s coronavirus task force—who told the Washington Post she made her decision because of the president’s “flat out disregard for human life.” Troye left her position in August.

Coinciding with the announcement, the group Republican Voters Against Trump released a two-minute video with Troye in which she elaborates on that charge, detailing a meeting with the president in which, she claims, he suggested that the pandemic was a “good thing” because he’d no longer have to shake hands with “disgusting people”:

“Towards the middle of February we knew it wasn’t a matter of if Covid would become a big pandemic here in the United States, it was a matter of when,” Troye says in the video. “But the president didn’t want to hear that, because his biggest concern was that we were in an election year, and how was this going to effect what he considered to be his record of his success? It was shocking to see the president saying that the virus was a hoax, saying that everything was going to be okay when we know that it’s not.”

Troye describes herself as a supporter of George W. Bush and John McCain who simply can’t take another term of Trump. Her video is an echo, in some ways, of RVAT’s first big testimonial, in which Miles Taylor, former chief of staff to Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen, called his experience working in the administration “terrifying.” In fact, Troye uses that exact word.

On Thursday, Pence responded to Troye’s video calling her “one more disgruntled employee who’s left the White House to play politics during an election year.” It’s weird for an administration to repeatedly trash the people it once hired, but all things considered, it’s probably a better strategy than running on their response to the coronavirus.

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Which is also a pretty great way to describe Mother Jones' mission: People coming together around the truth to hold power accountable.

And right now, we need to raise about $400,000 from our online readers over the next two months to hit our annual goal and make good on that mission. Read more about the information war we find ourselves in and how people-powered, independent reporting can and must rise to the challenge—and please support our team's truth-telling journalism with a donation if you can right now.

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