A former top staffer for Vice President Mike Pence alleged in a new anti-Trump video Thursday that the President called his supporters “disgusting” and said the COVID-19 pandemic might be a positive development because he no longer had to shake their hands.
In the two-minute video, from the anti-Trump group Republican Voters Against Trump, former Pence staffer Olivia Troye said that in one White House Coronavirus Task Force meeting, “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.’”
“Those disgusting people are the same people that he claims to care about,” Troye said in the video.
Troye, who left the administration in August, served as Pence’s homeland security and counterterrorism adviser and his top staffer on the COVID-19 task force. She told The Washington Post, “I was the 24-hours-on-call person for major events for two years for him in the role.”
She said in the new video that though she’s a Republican, she’ll be voting for Joe Biden “because I truly believe we are at a time of constitutional crisis.”
“At this point, it’s country over party,” Troye said.
Toward the middle of February, Troy said in the video, the task force knew COVID-19 would become a “big pandemic” in the United States.
“But the President didn’t want to hear that, because his biggest concern was that we were in an election year, and how is this going to affect what he considered to be his record of success?” Troye said.
“The truth is, he doesn’t actually care about anyone else but himself,” she said. If Trump had made an effort to take the virus seriously or communicate its seriousness, Troye said, “he would have slowed the virus spread, he would have saved lives.”
Pence’s national security adviser, Keith Kellogg, called Troye “disgruntled” in a statement shared with TPM. He said that at the time she left the White House, “she was no longer capable of keeping up with her day-to-day duties.”
“Ms. Troye directly reported to me, and never once during her detail did she ever express any concern regarding the Administration’s response to the Coronavirus to anyone in her chain of command,” Kellogg said. “By not expressing her concerns, she demonstrated an incredible lack of moral courage.” TPM has reached out to Troye for comment on Kellogg’s statement.
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