Ex-Pence Aide Endorses Biden, Drawing Scorn From Her Former Boss

A former senior adviser to Vice President Mike Pence endorsed Democratic nominee Joe Biden on Thursday and accused President Donald Trump of showing “disregard for human life” during the coronavirus pandemic.

Pence dismissed the criticism by Olivia Troye, who worked as his homeland security, counter-terrorism and coronavirus adviser for two years, saying she was a “disgruntled employee” playing politics.

“It reads to me like one more disgruntled employee who has left the White House and now has decided to play politics during an election year,” Pence told reporters Thursday during a meeting on the coronavirus response in nursing homes at the White House.

Troye said in a video for the group Republican Voters Against Trump that the president’s “biggest concern” was how the pandemic would affect his re-election campaign. Trump also said that the pandemic might be a “good thing” because he would not have to “shake hands with these disgusting people,” Troye said.

Pence said that while he had not read her comments in detail, he was proud of the White House’s response to the virus. He also said Troye had not communicated her concerns to other staff members while working in the administration.

“While some may want to play politics and say different things once they leave here than while they’re here, we’re going to stay focused,” Pence said.

Troye joins a growing number of one-time administration officials, including former National Security Advisor John Bolton and Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, who say the president failed to take the virus seriously in order to stop it from spreading.

©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

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