The White House threw out a one-two punch Tuesday at former coronavirus taskforce aide Olivia Troye, with both her boss Keith Kellogg and White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany disparaging the ex-staffer.
Lt. Gen. Kellogg, who serves as Vice President Mike Pence’s national security adviser, appeared at the podium during the briefing to explain that he ‘fired’ Troye because her ‘performances started to drop after six months working on the taskforce as a backbencher.’
She also ‘struggled to keep up,’ according to McEnany, who was pushing back on Troye saying that President Donald Trump called supporters ‘disgusting’ and the upside of the coronavirus pandemic was that he wouldn’t be able to shake their hands.
Both White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany (left) and Vice President Mike Pence’s National Security Advisor Keith Kellogg (right) went after former coronavirus taskforce staffer Olivia Troye during Tuesday’s White House briefing
Olivia Troye, a former aide to Vice President Mike Pence, said in a video put out by Republicans Voters Against Trump that the president said, ‘Maybe this COVID thing is a good thing. I don´t like shaking hands with people. I don’t have to shake hands with these disgusting people’
Troye made the allegations in a video that was released Thursday by Republican Voters Against Trump.
She called working for Trump ‘terrifying’ and said he was more concerned about winning re-election than protecting Americans from the coronavirus.
‘The truth is he doesn’t actually care about anyone else but himself,’ she said.
She said that during a taskforce meeting the president told the room, ‘Maybe this COVID thing is a good thing. I don’t like shaking hands with people. I don’t have to shake hands with these disgusting people.’
‘Those disgusting people are the same people that he claims to care about. These are the people still going to his rallies today who have complete faith in who he is,’ she continued. ‘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.’
Troye also told the camera she had been a Republican her whole life.
‘I am a McCain Republican. I am a Bush Republican and I am voting for Joe Biden because I truly believe we are at a time of constitutional crisis. At this point, it is country over party,’ she said.
As the end of Tuesday’s briefing neared, McEnany suddenly announced that Kellogg would be saying a few words.
‘Olivia Troye worked for me. I fired her,’ Kellogg said from the podium. ‘The reason I fired her was her performances started to drop after six months working on the taskforce as a backbencher.’
He said he had spoken with their boss, Pence, and he agreed that Troye should be ousted.
‘I’m the one who escorted her off the compound,’ Kellogg also said.
Kellogg then accused her of lying.
Olivia Troye’s video message, asking Americans to vote for Democrat Joe Biden, included photos of her with coronavirus taskforce members
Here Olivia Troye (left) is photographed with Vice President Mike Pence (right) on board Air Force Two
White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany also went after Miles Taylor, a former Trump official who’s also come out in support of Joe Biden, saying he ‘made up lies against President Trump to fit in,’ as Taylor has since taken a job at Google
‘What she has said I have never heard. That’s never happened. And I have been through every meeting of the taskforce,’ Kellogg told reporters.
He touted Trump’s leadership in dealing with the virus – hours after the death toll in the U.S. surpassed 200,000.
‘I am very proud of the president of the United States,’ Kellogg said. ‘I am not proud of Olivia Troye.’
Kellogg didn’t answer a question about whether the president should be holding rallies as he stepped offstage.
McEnany then continued the attack.
‘What we have here with this former disgruntled detailee and with Miles Taylor as well, these are not profiles in courage, but these are profiles in cowardess,’ the press secretary said.
Taylor was the former chief of staff at the Department of Homeland Security who, among other things, has claimed that Trump offered pardons to officials for taking illegal action at the U.S.-Mexico border.
‘Troye failed to speak up and she struggled to keep up because she was constantly complaining about how exhausted and overwhelmed she was coordinating conference calls and scheduling meetings,’ McEnany continued.
‘Troye’s detail was cut short and now she’s cutting commercials for a fringe club of “never Trumpers” who are desparate for relevancy and the price of admission to this club is fabricated smears and flat-out lies about President Trump,’ the press secretary said.
She then turned to Taylor, noting that he’s become ‘CNN’s latest contributor.’
McEnany said of his work product that he ‘couldn’t go the distance’ and he ‘could not get results.’
‘Desparate to please his new Silicon Valley friends, Miles made up lies against President Trump to fit in,’ she said. ‘He can now rest easy at Google having earned his anti-Trump credentials and the approvel of his big tech peers.’
In August, Taylor took a leave from his job at Google to actively support Biden for president.
Shortly after the briefing, Troye went on Twitter and said Kellogg lied.
‘Sad that Gen. Kellogg is telling a bald faced lie to protect the President,’ she wrote. ‘I resigned on my own accord & was asked to stay. He never escorted me out. He knows this.’
She then tweeted an Instagram story from August 15 that showed a picture of a challenge coin she said Kellogg gifted her that was inscribed with his name.
‘Love this man,’ she wrote. ‘We had a great heart to heart today,’ she said, using the emojis.
She added, ‘Such a neat coin! We’ve been through a lot together on this national security team.’