The Slatest

Stephen Miller: Trump Will “Absolutely” Shut Down Government Over Wall

Stephen Miller attends a Cabinet meeting in the White House on August 16, 2018 in Washington, D.C.
Stephen Miller attends a Cabinet meeting in the White House on August 16, 2018 in Washington, D.C. MANDEL NGAN/Getty Images

White House senior adviser Stephen Miller assured that President Donald Trump is ready to shut down the government in order to make sure he gets the funding to build the wall along the border with Mexico. “We’re going to do whatever is necessary to build the border wall to stop this ongoing crisis of illegal immigration,” Miller, who has long been seen as one of the administration’s most hard-line voices on immigration, said on CBS’ Face the Nation. When asked whether that meant forcing a shutdown of the government, Miller didn’t hesitate: “If it comes to it, absolutely.”

Miller made sure to emphasize the president doesn’t see the wall as a minor point that can be negotiated away. “This is a very fundamental issue. At stake is the question of whether or not the United States remains a sovereign country,” Miller said. “Whether or not we can establish and enforce rules for entrance into our country.”

In a jaw-dropping point of the interview, Miller suggested “left wing, activist judicial rulings” were to blame for the death of a young Guatemalan girl while in the custody of border officials. “One of the great tragedies that is going on in our country today is the loopholes in our immigration laws and the deficiencies in our immigration laws,” Miller said. “And left wing, activist judicial rulings that incentivize the most vulnerable populations to come to our country.”

Despite Miller’s tough words, Democrats insisted that continuing to push on the wall was a fool’s errand. “He is not going to get the wall in any form,” the Senate minority leader, Chuck Schumer, said on NBC’s Meet the Press. “Even the House, which is a majority Republican, they don’t have the votes for his 5 billion dollar wall plan.” Schumer’s words virtually assure it will be a tense week in Washington ahead of the shutdown deadline Friday.