The White House on Sept. 17 released a letter that former adviser to Vice President Mike Pence, Olivia Troye, sent to coronavirus task force members and White House staff on her departure from her role, contradicting remarks she made about the Trump administration’s handling of the COVID-19 pandemic.
On Thursday, the anti-Trump group Republican Voters Against Trump featured Troye, who worked for Vice President Mike Pence for two years as a special adviser for homeland security and counterterrorism issues, in a new online attack ad.
In the advert, the former aide claimed that Trump’s “biggest concern” about the CCP virus had been how it would affect his re-election and his “record of success,” adding that she was shocked to see the President “saying that the virus was a hoax” when he knew it was not. Despite being a lifelong Republican, she said she would vote for Democratic candidate, Joe Biden.
In an interview with The Washington Post published on Sept. 17, Troye said that Trump’s response to the coronavirus pandemic showed his “flat-out disregard for human life” because “his main concern was the economy and the election.”
However, in her departure letter released by The White House, Troye praised her colleagues for their dedication and work on fighting the pandemic, saying she had “witnessed first hand how dedicated and committed all of you have been to doing the right thing,” and that their commitment was “an inspiration to me and Americans across the nation.”
“Supporting the Vice President in leading all of you on this effort has been the experience of a lifetime,” she added in the letter, which made no mention of Trump.
Speaking at a press conference before departing on Marine One to Wisconsin on Thursday, Trump told reporters he had never met Troye but understood that she “was on the task force as some kind of a lower-level person.”
“I have no idea who she is,” he said. “She doesn’t know me. It’s just another person that leaves, and whether it’s CNN or Washington Post, they say negative things.”
The president also noted Troye’s departure letter praising her colleagues in the administration.
“Mike Pence came to me; he told me about her. He said she left. They let her go with cause, but they let her go. And then she wrote a beautiful letter, as I understand it—a letter praising the administration. But then the people get a hold of her and said, ‘Let’s say some bad things about Donald Trump.'”
“We have a big government,” he said. “Every time somebody leaves government, 99 percent of the time, I’m not going to know these people. And they leave on a basis of almost like it’s a personal thing with me,” he said.
Troye said in her interview that she still had “a lot of respect for the vice president.”
“I worked very loyally for him to do everything I could for him. I don’t want this to become a speaking-out-against-him thing,” she told the paper.
The president told reporters outside the White House, “I have no idea who this person was, but we wish her well.”