A former Homeland Security official is speaking out about the difficulty she faced trying to protect the country while working in President Donald Trump's administration.
Elizabeth Neumann, former Assistant Secretary of Homeland Security for Counterterrorism and Threat Prevention, penned an op-ed that was published to USA Today on Tuesday morning. According to Neumann, Trump's erratic and combative behavior during the first presidential debate was nothing more than a glimpse into how he governs on a daily basis inside the White House.
"Everything we saw during the first presidential debate is indicative of how President Donald Trump behaves in the White House," Neumann said.
Neumann went on to offer a vivid description of Trump's business model as she slammed the president for his lack of organization and leadership. Neumann, a known Conservative who admits she supported Trump in 2016, revealed debate moderator and Fox News host Chris Wallace experienced what White House staffers experience on a regular day.
She added, "His business model is chaos. He has no organization, no leadership, and sees every interaction as a contest or a battle, even when it doesn't have to be. Chris Wallace now knows how so many administration staffers feel — and how I felt when the president got in the way of me doing my job. He is dangerous for our country."
The former Homeland Security assistant secretary went on to express concern about the sharp rise of white nationalist violence. Despite repeated warnings about white supremacists and nationalists being considered the largest deadly domestic threat in the United States, Neumann noted that the president responded to Homeland Security's report the same way he did during the presidential debate: by refusing to denounce white nationalism.
My time in office coincided with a dramatic rise in white nationalist violence, but my colleagues and I couldn't get the president to help address the problem. At the debate, America saw what I saw in the administration: President Trump refuses to distance himself from white nationalists.
Neumann recalled the terrorist attack in El Paso as she explained how Trump's rhetoric influences the actions of extremist groups.
"I realized after watching the White House response to the terrorist attack in El Paso that his rhetoric was a recruitment tool for violent extremist groups," Neumann wrote. "The president bears some responsibility for the deaths of Americans at the hands of these violent extremists."
She concluded with a reminder about the government's role in protecting the American public as she posed a compelling question about supporting Trump for a second presidential term.
"Your government is supposed to perform some basic functions; keeping you and your family safe is primary among them," she said. "In 2016, I voted for President Trump. But when someone asked me if I could vote for him again, after he time and again refused to keep Americans safe — how could I say anything but no?"