BACK STORY with DANA LEWIS

The Deception By The White House, Pandemic Task Force

October 20, 2020 Dana Lewis Season 2 Episode 15
BACK STORY with DANA LEWIS
The Deception By The White House, Pandemic Task Force
Chapters
BACK STORY with DANA LEWIS
The Deception By The White House, Pandemic Task Force
Oct 20, 2020 Season 2 Episode 15
Dana Lewis

In this edition of Back Story Dana Lewis speaks to Olivia Troye.  

Troye was a homeland security official. She went on to work in the Office of the Vice President of the United States as the homeland security and counterterrorism advisor to Vice President Pence, serving as an aide to the White House Coronavirus Task Force. 

Troye tells Dana Lewis, she (Like Anthony Fauci) has been threatened since she quite the White House over the handling of Covid19. And, that Trump put pressure on the task force to downplay and manipulate data to get parents to send children  back to school.

With school guidelines Troye say's "we put people at risk and it was politics over science". 

Listen to this Back Story and subscribe.  

Show Notes Transcript

In this edition of Back Story Dana Lewis speaks to Olivia Troye.  

Troye was a homeland security official. She went on to work in the Office of the Vice President of the United States as the homeland security and counterterrorism advisor to Vice President Pence, serving as an aide to the White House Coronavirus Task Force. 

Troye tells Dana Lewis, she (Like Anthony Fauci) has been threatened since she quite the White House over the handling of Covid19. And, that Trump put pressure on the task force to downplay and manipulate data to get parents to send children  back to school.

With school guidelines Troye say's "we put people at risk and it was politics over science". 

Listen to this Back Story and subscribe.  

Speaker 1:

I'm Olivia Troy, I was Homeland security and counter terrorism advisor to vice president Pence and served as vice president. Pence is lead staff member on the COVID-19 in response. You know, I've been on the Cova task force from day one. I mean, the virus was very unpredictable at the beginning. There were a lot of unknowns, but what towards the middle of February, we knew it wasn't a matter of if COBIT would become a big pandemic here in the United States. It was a matter of one, but the president didn't want to hear that because his biggest concern was that we were an election year. And how is this going to affect what he considered to be his record of success? It was shocking to see the president saying that the virus was a hoax key , made a statement once it was very striking. I never forgot it because it pretty much defined who he was when we were in a task force meeting. 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 discussing people are the same people that he claims to care about. These are the people still going to Israelis today.

Speaker 2:

Hi everyone. And welcome to this backstory. I'm Dana Lewis. If you can imagine being picked to be on America's white house task force to deal with the coronavirus pen demo , to be a key aid to the vice president and to watch in horror as the president directed the taskforce to downplay the virus and deny the truth about what was happening to people across the country. Olivia Troy quit that task force and walked out of the white house in disgust, deeply troubled by a self serving president who didn't care for anything, but as election chances, what you just heard a moment ago was an ad. Olivia Troy appeared in saying as a Republican, she can't vote for Trump and we'll support Joe Biden. And if you want to hear more, we spoke to Olivia this week about what happened inside the white house. Okay . Olivia Troy was a Homeland security official. She went on to work in the office of the vice president of the United States as the Homeland security and counter terrorism advisor to vice president, Mike Pence, serving as an aid to the white house, Corona virus, taskforce, dream job. It sounds like Olivia, which seems to have morphed into some kind of a nightmare.

Speaker 1:

Thank you for having me, but yes, I mean, as a career intelligence officer, we often, you know, hope that someday we'll get a career assignment to the white house and get to serve in such an endeavor. And I certainly served during a very interesting time. I was there for over two years on the vice president's staff and I had served previously for a year and a half at the department of Homeland security. I'm mostly focused on to be honest, a lot of other presidential this new president. Well, the new administration's executive orders, which came into office about a , about a week after I had actually started my assignment at the department of Homeland security. Were you, or did you leave

Speaker 3:

The white house?

Speaker 1:

No, I resigned contrary to what general Kellogg has told the nation. I was, I have to say I was really disappointed when he did that. It was hurtful because I had a very, I had a wonderful working relationship with general Kellogg, to be honest, we spent a lot of hours together. He , uh, he knew that I was very dedicated to my role. I was the person that was on call 24 hours a day for over two years for the vice president. You know , I, I, you know , most recently he was on the coronavirus task workers , but I was also the person that dealt with all the mass shootings and their response to that and the natural disaster in our country. So I dealt with hurricanes and wildfires and flooding and I traveled with the vice president. So this was just , uh , it was, it was surprising to hear that, especially to say that he had escorted me out and that my performance was declining when I had personal conversations with him about weighing why I was, I was wavering on stain because I felt so strongly about the work and the contributions I was making with the task force members . And I was concerned about who would be the backbone and who would be supporting them. And the vice president of I left,

Speaker 3:

You know, certainly interrupt, but you're a pretty good company. Aren't you? I mean, there's some, some pretty phenomenal talent has left the white house , uh , on their own. And then later on had nasty things said about them. So , uh, maybe it's a badge of honor,

Speaker 1:

Perhaps. I mean, I, you know, it's , if you, you know, they called me a disgruntled employee, they call anyone who speaks out against the administration, to be honest, that's what you get labeled as, but, you know, I guess you could call us disgruntled. We're disgruntled at what we saw and were disgruntled with the president of the United States and his handling of multiple areas of national security. So I guess that could make me disgruntled.

Speaker 3:

So was there a moment that led to the resignation? I mean, or what, what led you to that threshold where obviously you had thought about it a lot and you said, that's it. I can't in good conscience stay here anymore.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, there were a couple of moments I will say. I mean, it certainly, wasn't an easy two years in the white house. I saw a lot of, a lot of things that gave me pause, but I will say that as the election got closer and the more I faced the political dynamics and the influence, it was consistently undermining the pandemic response here domestically. It was harder to hang in there and I knew it was going to get worse, the closer to the election got , and I've spoken about this publicly, the Lafayette square situation, when the president walked across and cleared up the protesters in such a violent manner so that he could have a photo op basically at st. John's church, it's first , it's historic and then Washington DC area. And just to hold a Bible. And I, it was just for me personally, that was a really low point because I thought to myself, the hypocrisy of having done that, the way you put our law enforcement at risk, it's in the middle of a COBIT pandemic, you're doing this on purpose. You're going out there, you're holding a Bible and not any , he doesn't pray. He doesn't give any words of encouragement or unity to our country. He just stood there holding it. And to be honest, he celebrated that moment afterwards, which was horrifying to me. I don't know how you celebrate in high five at a moment like that when our country is not only grieving about, you know, for voices that want to be heard and the hatred and the vitriol that this president has espoused, we're also hurting because there's a major pandemic going on here. So we're struggling on all, all sorts of areas. And

Speaker 3:

I don't think the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff, Mark Milley , who did that walk, regrettably was celebrating it afterwards for sure. And a lot of military condemned that he was even there.

Speaker 1:

I think he was ashamed. And, you know, there have been statements made like a lot of them didn't know, I wouldn't put it past some of the political circles that they probably didn't tell them the full story of what was about to happen. But I've certainly seen that before, where you walk into a situation, you think something's about to develop the way you planned it, or the way you extent it's painted it. And then the next thing, you know, it goes off the rails and you're part of a , an operation and you're sitting there thinking, how did I get here? I think that's how I felt. Sometimes in the task force meetings, it was just sort of a , a realistic slap in the face at times when we would have a policy in place. And we're going to go give a message to the American public about how serious this was. And then the president gets up and refers to it as a democratic exercise. You know, this is going to go away in a matter of days. I mean, I don't know how you counter that.

Speaker 3:

The COVID-19 is going to disappear. Can you explain to people overseas as well as you know, we have listeners in America, but I mean, I'm talking to you from London. How did this thing rip in a country? Most people thought would have been the best prepared to deal with it. Was it the president's messaging or is it because of the system there where each state and governor gets to set the stage for how that state is going to deal with it? Or is it a marriage of all those things?

Speaker 1:

No, I think it's a combination of both, but I will say this, the issue was that the person at the very top, the president, the person who is in the oval office was setting the tone for the entire response. And he was pressuring these governors at times. He was telling them to get in line. And that's where we start to see a big divide between the Republican governors and a democratic governor is you see politics play out any response where politics really shouldn't have been involved at all. It should have been a United effort to protect the American people. And that is primarily the number one failure of this. It was just politicizing it from the first day and we never, we never stood a chance against that. And I, you know, we, I saw it was in the governor's calls, the weekly calls where the president would talk, you know, sometimes he would attend them and there was a focus along the way saying, you must open up your States . You must do this. There's a way to do that. And then in a safe and organized manner, but that's not what happened. And you're seeing this play out in a lot of States. You're seeing it. I mean, I'm from Texas, Texas is in a really bad situation right now. My hometown of El Paso is not looking good this winter. There's a lot of States that are facing a very harsh winter. And the president was told this in the spring, he was told like that people like dr. Fowchee and dr. Burke's . Well , all of the doctors on the task force said, if we don't get control of this right now, during the time and buy some time for ourselves in the fall or winter, we are going to be facing a terrible situation. And that's where we are today.

Speaker 3:

Trump does not feel that he could, he could handle it and, and, and make a success out of it. And therefore he just wanted to put it behind him all the time and say, the pandemic is, you know, any constantly says it, right? I mean, he's called CNN dumb bastards this week for continually talking about COVID-19. He wants it to go away. Did he not feel that he could have a , a win on this by locking down the U S and doing what he needed to do?

Speaker 1:

I think, you know, we were in an election year and I think he was focused on making sure that the narrative and the messaging on this was aligned with his, you know, his own reality of what, of the world he lives in. And the world that Donald Trump lives in is not the same world that any of the rest of us live in it's , it's not the false reality. And I think that it was an, it was a challenge every single day to try to figure out how to navigate this. And you're seeing it now. I mean, he's, you know, at first he used dr. Fowchee in an ad saying that he was praising them . He took his words out of context. Now he's reversed course because that didn't work. Right. And when , when something doesn't work, he doubles down on it and he will. And when somebody speaks out against him, he really goes after them. And that's what he's doing now with dr. Pal T . And he's, you know, he's trying to play down the pandemic once again, by saying the media is lying to you and they're overplaying this well, we're hearing from doctors and nurses in States who are saying, it's happening again, we're seeing this, it's looking really bad. They're the ones that are treating people. They're the first line medical workers who are suffering. And so I think that's really offensive actually to have the president of the United States calling, you know, CNN dumb and, you know, attacking dr. Fowchee and others , family

Speaker 3:

Disaster. He's going out to discredit them after this 60 minutes program over the weekend, and actually thought she has been fairly couched in his references to president Trump. I mean, he has said things like he should wear a mask, but he come out, been critically in a political way. Correct.

Speaker 1:

Now , dr. Fletchy has always been very measured in the way he speaks publicly. He is all he's served for decades, right. He's heard for administrations on both sides. Right. And , uh, and so I think, you know, you were starting to see dr. Fowchee speak out a little more, and I think he's right to defend himself right. Enough. I mean, we need, he has been literally attacked and underminded and that he is at T you know, the president has gone after him to discredit him for months now. And you know, those attacks and that public sentiment, that the president expresses also have an impact on the welfare welfare of his family. Right? I mean, he has, I was there when the first threats came in, this is , this has been going on for months. And so whenever the president doubles down on someone like that, you see what happens. You see the threats increase threats on his family threats on his life. You see this son governors , you see this on the governor from Michigan who the president of consistently attacked for not getting in line and made fun of her and said liberated Michigan for her stance on coven and protecting our descendants of our state. And then you see that the effect , where did this attack. So when you're the president words matter and people are watching and they're going to react to what you're saying,

Speaker 3:

You were with not president Trump's so much, but you were with vice president Pence. Did he in private Joe frustration about the way the president handles it? Or does he just sign up on this and support them ? No matter what

Speaker 1:

I certainly saw him struggle at times. I think, you know, I saw every member of the task force struggle because they were trying to do the right thing. And it's very hard to deal with a dynamic dynamic when the outlier is the president and he he's your boss and for the vice president, unfortunately he works for Donald Trump and he's going to walk the fine line every single day on it. But at the end of the day, he chose, he chose this ticket, right? He had a choice.

Speaker 3:

You chose the ticket. He could have, he didn't choose to have his backbone taken out, but , uh , let let's leave it that the white house pressured the CDC to downplay risks , sending children back to school, is that right?

Speaker 1:

They did. It was one of the many examples of, you know, the white house intervening on CDC guidelines and changing the wording because they felt it was too restrictive. And they looked at the data and there were certainly efforts to manipulate the data and to have it reflect that it only, you know , the code that only affected the elderly or people that are of a certain age, which quite frankly, the data was inconclusive on that. And we know that it affects people of all ages. We know that it affects our children. And the one thing I think the experts have said is we don't know the long term effects on anybody. I mean, there are so many unknowns about this virus. So once again, you know, with the school guidelines, we put people at risk and it was politics over science of data and the facts.

Speaker 3:

You're not the first former national security advisor that I've talked to, who, you know, who've come out against president Trump and said that he's unfit for office. Do you think when you stand up like this, I mean, you've put everything on the line here and I don't doubt you've probably received so threats yourself. You can tell me, you know, maybe you can tell me if you have, but does it make a difference or does Trump's demographics these audience? They don't tend to listen to any of this stuff.

Speaker 1:

I think it does make a difference for the people out there who are still kind of figuring out what happened and are undecided, or perhaps that Trump voter, who voted for him the first time around. But it's sort of taking a step back and saying, well, wait a second. What really happened here? You know, the, the hatred and the , the rhetoric that he's using and the COVID cases that continue to increase, you know, I think, I think it impacts those people. Does it impact the completely 100% loyalist and that Trump is now, but I don't think anything is ever going to reach those people. Right? These are the same people that will show up at the rallies, put their own lives at risk and put the lives of their families and their communities around them because they'll leave this rally and they could potentially carry the virus back without even knowing it and give it to their neighbor and give it to people in their community. And, you know, those are the people that will be impacted and die. And those people didn't choose to go to that rally. Right. They've been protecting themselves, but they were exposed because of this Trump ideology, so to speak. And this, this, I would say, you know, this group of people that just is unwavering.

Speaker 3:

Yeah. It's , it's kind of became a freedom issue, right. I mean, where , where he said, you know , kind of release, release your state and , uh , Peter people suddenly suddenly digested that as some kind of threat to their freedom to wear a mask. I mean, it's incredible. Have you received threats to yourself?

Speaker 1:

Yeah . My family has received threats. We've had the people harassing us. I mean, we were prepared and, you know, I, it was a very hard decision to do this. I didn't, it wasn't something I did lightly. And I knew that it would come with great consequence , but I really felt strongly that it was morally the right thing to do regardless of what that would mean for my future and my career and, and what would happen.

Speaker 3:

Well, I'm really proud of you. And I mean, I don't know you, but I'm very proud of you. And I think what you did is you , you know, you've stood up where you needed to be, and there's a lot of great people that have done same thing, but

Speaker 2:

Can , can you tell me where does America go if Trump is reelected in November? Is that something you want to contemplate?

Speaker 1:

I think we'll be, I think America will not be America. We will be a very different place if we have four more years of Trump. And I think we'll all have to take a step back, especially with the Republican party. And I'll say that actually, I think the Republican party has a major step to take back and reassess of where they're going, because I do think that there's a difference between being a Republican and being a Trump Republican. But right now I do think that the Republican party has been hijacked. And I think we have a serious problem in that space. And that's going to be something that I think we will wrestle with going forward. And I say that as a lifelong Republican, right, who interned , you know , the Republican national committee, I was a presidential appointee by president Bush. And then I eventually, you know , left to become a career Intel officer, you know, didn't, you check your politics at the door. I need to serve neutrally, which is what I have for, for over a decade now. But I, you know, as a private citizen, I think we are in a very challenging place.

Speaker 2:

You're worried about chaos and election night. I mean, if there is not a clear win by buying it , and a lot of people are predicting, as some States are going to have to wait for these Maillian ballots. That, I mean, there can be, you know, armed chaos in places

Speaker 1:

I'm concerned about that. And I am concerned that the president will incite that because that is what he does. He encourages it. He has encouraged violence. He has encouraged, you know, he tests himself as a president of law and order, but he encourages violence in cities, whether people realize this or not, because he thinks it plays to his favor. Now think about that. Think about the fact that we have a president who is encouraging violence on Americans and in towns, because if he thinks that it'll make him look good in the end, and it will help his reelection chances, there's something really wrong about that picture.

Speaker 2:

Truth is stranger than fiction. And it's incredible that , you know, what's going on in the U S and we hope , uh , you know, the best for America after the selection and that , uh , this kind of deep divisions somehow are able to heal over time. And look, I really appreciate your time. Terrific. To talk to you, man. Thank you so much. Thank you so much for having me. And that's this backstory on America's health and political and looming constitutional crisis. And I personally have great admiration for Olivia Troy's bravery to speak up. Would you, could you, she's taken all kinds of professional and personal risks in doing so, but that's what Patriots do. It's a really patriotic duty over personal interests. And if Biden wins, I think he has an obligation to hire these heroes back, who won't serve the Democrats, but serve American. That's how you heal the nation is to bring everybody together. Please subscribe to backstory. I'm Dana Lewis and I'll talk to you again soon.

Speaker 4:

[inaudible] .