Speed Reads

republicans against trump

Ex-Pence adviser and White House Coronavirus Task Force member endorses Biden: 'It's country over party'

Olivia Troye, Vice President Mike Pence's former homeland security and counterterrorism adviser and his lead staff member on the White House Coronavirus Task Force, is a lifelong Republican who says after seeing up close how President Trump is responding to the pandemic, she is voting for Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden.

The Republican Voters Against Trump organization released a video on Thursday sharing Troye's story. Troye says in the ad it was "terrifying" and "awful" to work in the Trump White House, and the president cared more about being re-elected than protecting Americans from the coronavirus. "The truth is he doesn't actually care about anyone else but himself," she adds.

Troye says that during one task force meeting, Trump said maybe COVID-19 was "a good thing," because "I don't like shaking hands with people. I don't have to shake hands with these disgusting people." Those are the "same people that he claims to care about," Troye says. "These are the people still going to his rallies today who have complete faith in who he is. If the president had taken this virus seriously, or if he had actually made an effort to tell how serious it was, he would have slowed the virus spread, he would have saved lives." She is endorsing Biden because "I truly believe we are at a time of constitutional crisis. At this point it's country over party."

Other former Trump White House officials have also spoken out against the president and in favor of Biden, including Miles Taylor, the former chief of staff at the Department of Homeland Security. When asked for comment, White House spokesperson Judd Deere and Pence both called Troye "disgruntled," and Trump told reporters on Thursday evening he had "no idea who she is." Catherine Garcia