The Trump White House is full of extremist right-wing characters, perhaps none more so than “senior policy adviser” Stephen Miller and his former boss, Attorney General Jeff Sessions.
The recent Michael Wolff book “Fire and Fury” described Miller memorably as “a fifty-five-year-old trapped in a thirty-two-year-old’s body”, who was brought onto the Trump campaign for his political experience. Except:
Other than being a dedicated far-right conservative, it was unclear what particular abilities accompanied Miller’s political views. He was supposed to be a speechwriter, but if so, he seemed restricted to bullet points and unable to construct sentences. He was supposed to be a policy adviser but knew little about policy. He was supposed to be the house intellectual but was militantly unread. He was supposed to be a communications specialist, but he antagonized almost everyone.
Miller, today, has unique influence on the White House, especially when it comes to immigration policy. When Sens. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and Richard Durbin (D-IL) came to meet with Trump a couple of weeks ago to present an immigration compromise that would have helped hundreds of thousands of Dreamers, there was “this anti-immigrant cast of characters there,” as a Democratic aide described it, “and that was obviously designed by Stephen Miller to try to kill the deal.”
As Sen. Graham said afterward, “As long as Stephen Miller is in charge of negotiating immigration, we’re going nowhere. He’s been an outlier for years.”
No deal was made, which is one reason why Samantha Bee, host of TBS’ “Full Frontal”, says the recent government shutdown would most correctly have been called the “Stephen Miller shutdown.” Last night, she put up a brilliant takedown of Miller, his history, his anti-immigrant reputation, and the influence he’s been allowed to have in Trump’s White House. The segment is called “We Need to Talk About Stephen Miller.” Yes, we absolutely do:
As she asked:
Who is this enterprising slime mold on this Wonderbread of democracy? Where did he come from? Is he really just 10,000 spiders that really made a commitment?
As other profiles have noted, Stephen Miller has long been an extremely unpleasant person who grew up in southern California and once reportedly broke off a childhood friendship because the friend was Latino. In high school, he ran for class president on a platform of attacking janitors: “Am I the only one who is sick and tired of being told to pick up my trash when we have plenty of janitors who are paid to do it for us?”
After high school, “Miller fled liberal California for Duke University, presumably because he thought it was founded by David,” according to Samantha Bee. There, he reportedly became friends with Richard Spencer, a noted neo-Nazi, and wrote invectives in a college newspaper column where he railed against feminism, multiculturalism, immigration — and once again, janitors.
Miller joined then-Senator Jeff Sessions’ staff after college, and was hired in January 2016 by the Trump campaign. After Trump became president, Miller became “intimately involved in crafting Trump’s scariest and creepiest positions,” including the Muslim bans and the cancellation of DACA.
As Samantha Bee concluded, Stephen Miller has been a lifelong unpleasant person who is now enjoying an alarming amount of influence in the White House:
Stephen Miller is a real American success story. He worked hard, stayed true to himself, achieved his dreams. He is the exact same racist asshole he’s been since childhood. But now he has the president’s ear and the power to ruin thousands of people’s lives.
Schemer and McConnell better figure out a way to separate him from Trump before they’re asked to pass the janitor immigration ban of 2018
Watch the full segment here.