Trump and the White House have continually dismissed these voices as disgruntled ones. But the sheer volume of them is without precedent in recent American history. Put plainly: You don’t see a bunch of former Joe Biden allies making similar cases again Trump’s 2020 opponent. Some of the critics such as Troye are making their first forays into the national spotlight and inviting attacks in ways that suggest they didn’t come to their decisions lightly.
Given the growing onslaught of internal critics, it can be difficult to keep them all straight. So let’s recap them.
This list will be updated if additional voices emerge — which seems likely at this juncture.
The true insiders
Position: Homeland security adviser to Vice President Pence
What she said: Trump’s coronavirus response showed a “flat-out disregard for human life,” because his “main concern was the economy and his reelection.” She also said he was routinely disengaged during coronavirus meetings and often didn’t listen to his advisers — or directly contradicted them — on issues such as masks and coronavirus treatments.
Why it’s significant: Troye says she organized and attended every coronavirus task force briefing from February through July. She is the most direct firsthand witness to Trump’s coronavirus response to speak out publicly.
Position: Trump’s personal lawyer
What he said: He has called Trump a racist and a con man and has implicated the president in the campaign finance violations to which Cohen pleaded guilty. Cohen also recently released a book alleging that Trump cozied up to Russian President Vladimir Putin for a very simple reason: He wanted to do business in Russia.
Why it’s significant: Virtually nobody on this list has spent as much time working with Trump as Cohen. Cohen also had a unique perspective as Trump’s “fixer.” But his felonies, which include lying under oath, undermine his credibility.
Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman
Position: Director for European affairs for the White House’s National Security Council
What he said: He provided some of the most significant testimony of Trump’s impeachment, linking Trump to a quid pro quo with Ukraine.
Why it’s significant: While not a political aide, Vindman had a front-row seat, given his role focused on matters involving Ukraine. Trump later fired him, and Vindman has recently left the military and emerged as a more outspoken Trump critic.
Position: Ambassador to the European Union
What he said: He confirmed there was a quid pro quo and implicated Pence, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and others, saying everyone had “followed the president’s orders.”
Why it’s significant: Sondland was a key figure in the saga, especially as a Trump fundraiser and political appointee. But his testimony also evolved over time.
The big names
Position: Defense secretary
What he said: “Donald Trump is the first president in my lifetime who does not try to unite the American people — does not even pretend to try. Instead he tries to divide us.”
Why it’s significant: Mattis provides the biggest combination of a high-ranking official — defense secretary is one of the biggest Cabinet jobs in any administration — and extremely blunt Trump criticism.
Position: White House national security adviser
What he said: Bolton cited personal discussions in which Trump sought a quid pro quo with Ukraine, the allegation that led to his impeachment. Bolton also said Trump asked Chinese President Xi Jinping for help getting reelected and expressed approval for China’s concentration camps for Uighur Muslims.
Why it’s significant: Bolton’s nearly 600-page book was “the most substantive, critical dissection of the president from an administration insider so far, coming from a conservative who has worked in Republican administrations for decades,” The Post’s Josh Dawsey wrote in June.
Position: Secretary of state
What he said: Trump is “pretty undisciplined, doesn’t like to read” and tries to do illegal things.
Why it’s significant: Alongside Mattis, Tillerson held the highest position of any of the Trump critics on this list.
Position: White House chief of staff
What he said: Argued that his tenure should be best judged by what he and others prevented Trump from doing. And he said he agreed with Mattis’s charge that Trump was seeking to divide rather than unite the country.
Why it’s significant: Kelly hasn’t completely broken with Trump, and he hasn’t gone as far as Mattis. Kelly has also declined to confirm or deny reporting that Trump denigrated military veterans and the war dead, including allegedly offered insensitive comments while at the gravesite of Kelly’s own son. But Kelly has occasionally provided a window into what transpired on his watch, and it’s often pointed in a pretty clear direction.
Position: White House economic adviser
What he said: He offered veiled but clear criticisms of Trump’s “both sides” commentary after the tragedy in Charlottesville, in which a self-proclaimed white supremacist killed a protester. Cohn said: “This administration can and must do better in consistently and unequivocally condemning these groups and do everything we can to heal the deep divisions that exist in our communities. … Citizens standing up for equality and freedom can never be equated with white supremacists, neo-Nazis, and the KKK.”
Why it’s significant: Cohn hasn’t totally broken with Trump, either, but he did cite Charlottesville as what prompted him to leave the White House. And Cohn’s rebuke was highly unusual, coming from someone who was then still serving in the White House.
Position: Trump’s niece
What she said: Trump’s father “destroyed” Trump by short-circuiting his “ability to develop and experience the entire spectrum of human emotion.” She also said that for the president, “lying was primarily a mode of self-aggrandizement meant to convince other people he was better than he actually was.” And she said Trump had someone else take his college entrance exam, which he used to get into the University of Pennsylvania.
Why it’s significant: It’s the closest thing we have to a true psychological analysis of the president (Mary Trump is a clinical psychologist), and it’s the strongest criticism from a member of Trump’s own family.
Maryanne Trump Barry
Position: Trump’s sister and a retired federal judge
What she said: “He has no principles. None. None. And his base, I mean, my God, if you were a religious person, you want to help people. Not do this.” She added: “It’s the phoniness of it all. It’s the phoniness and this cruelty. Donald is cruel.”
Why it’s significant: Unlike Mary Trump, Maryanne Trump Barry didn’t step forward of her own volition. Instead, Mary Trump released a secretly recorded tape of her aunt saying these things.
The administration officials
Position: Chief of staff, Department of Homeland Security
What he said: Trump offered pardons to officials who broke the law in cracking down at the border, used DHS for explicitly political purposes, and sought to punish states that didn’t vote for him.
Why it’s significant: Taylor was a very high-ranking official at a department that was at the forefront of some of Trump’s most questionable policies.
Position: Assistant secretary for threat prevention and security policy, DHS
What she said: She implicates Trump in the rise of white nationalism in this country, and she echoes Troye’s allegation that Trump’s coronavirus response was first and foremost about the economy and his reelection.
Why it’s significant: She wasn’t as central to the coronavirus response as Troye, but she was a high-ranking DHS official and is a longtime Republican.
Position: Director of HHS’s Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority
What he said: He filed a whistleblower complaint and testified that “lives were lost” because the administration lacked a coherent coronavirus plan on things such as masks. He also said political pressure was applied to promote unproven treatments.
Why it’s significant: He was one of the first internal voices to speak out against the administration’s coronavirus response, and he has been one of the administration’s leading vaccine experts.
Position: Member of the Pentagon’s Defense Science Board
What he said: He resigned over Trump’s photo op at a church after officials cleared Lafayette Square of racial-justice protesters. Miller said: “President Trump’s actions Monday night violated his oath to ‘take care that the laws be faithfully executed,’ as well as the First Amendment ‘right of the people peaceably to assemble.’ ”
Why it’s significant: Miller is not a Trump loyalist, but his resignation was an early inflection point in the controversy over what happened in Lafayette Square.
Mary Elizabeth Taylor
Position: Assistant secretary of state for legislative affairs
What she said: She resigned over Trump’s handling of racial-justice demonstrations, saying, “The president’s comments and actions surrounding racial injustice and Black Americans cut sharply against my core values and convictions.”
Why it’s significant: The youngest person to be confirmed to her job and the first Black woman to serve in it, she had previously served as an aide to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and as the White House’s deputy director for nominations.
Position: Senior analyst with the Defense Intelligence Agency
What he said: He resigned by saying, “Each day, Trump’s approach looks more like the autocrats I warned about as an analyst.”
Why it’s significant: Murphy, while not a political appointee, says he briefed Trump in person.
The unwieldy aides
Position: White House communications director
What he said: “I broke from Trump because not only has his behavior become more erratic and his rhetoric more inflammatory, but also because, like all demagogues, he is incapable of handling constructive criticism.”
Why it’s significant: Scaramucci served just a week and a half as a White House aide, rendering his internal perspective limited. But he is a longtime GOP fundraiser who became one of the first of his kind to join Trump’s 2016 campaign, and Trump did hire him — twice.
Omarosa Manigault Newman
Position: Assistant to the president and director of communications for the Office of Public Liaison
What she said: Trump is unqualified, narcissistic and racist. She also claimed she was offered money by Trump’s campaign to stay silent.
Why it’s significant: Manigault Newman has always been a controversial figure, with credibility questions. But like Scaramucci, she’s someone Trump elevated before they turned against him.