A new report has found that Stephen Miller, the senior adviser to President Donald Trump considered partially responsible for some of the administration’s most disastrous anti-immigrant policies, fed Breitbart News a series of racist talking points dredged up from white supremacist sites and figures.
The emails, obtained and reviewed by the Southern Poverty Law Center’s Hatewatch blog, were pulled from correspondence between Miller and Breitbart writer Katie McHugh, who was fired in 2017 for anti-Muslim tweets and who has since renounced the far-right. According to Hatewatch, Miller sent more than 900 emails to Breitbart editors dated to 2015 and 2016, when Miller was an aide to then-Sen. Jeff Sessions and later a member of Trump’s campaign.
In one example, in 2015, as Hurricane Patricia struck Mexico, McHugh asked Miller in an email, “This being the worst hurricane ever recorded, what are the chances it wreaks destruction on Mexico and drives a mass migration to the U.S. border?”
Miller replied: “100 percent. And they will all get [temporary protected status]. And all the ones here will get TPS too. That needs to be the weekend’s BIG story. TPS is everything.” Miller then sent a link from the white supremacist site VDARE, which pushes the “white genocide” theory contending that nonwhite people are trying to eliminate or overtake the white population. As the SPLC points out, the Trump administration denied temporary protected status to Bahamians fleeing Hurricane Dorian earlier this year.
Miller pulled from other hate-driven sites, too. He linked to or referenced Infowars, which maintains that the Sandy Hook shooting was staged; Refugee Resettlement Watch, a group that has pleaded with white conservative women to have more children to fend off the Muslim population; and American Renaissance, a publication that has said that black people are more likely to be psychopaths. He also pushed for the Breitbart writers to read the white supremacist novel The Camp of the Saints during a discussion of SAT scores of nonwhite students. “[Y]ou see the Pope saying [the] [W]est must, in effect, get rid of borders,” Miller wrote at one point in the exchange. “Someone should point out the parallels to Camp of the Saints.”
Separately, he complained bitterly about the pushback against the online sale of Confederate battle flags after the Charleston, South Carolina, shooting that left nine people dead. And he repeatedly emphasized his own admiration for exclusionist policies and immigration quotas of the early 20th century.
Steve Bannon, the former head of Breitbart, had a well-documented obsession with The Camp of the Saints and other white supremacist talking points, but he left his position as the White House chief strategist in August 2017 (another former Breitbart editor, Julia Hahn, remains a Trump aide). These emails show that a still-prominent Trump administration figure had a closer relationship than previously known to Breitbart—a website that has called Trump critics “renegade Jews,” described young Muslims as “ticking time bombs,” and hosted a section dedicated to “black crime.”
The emails paint a picture of an undeniably race-obsessed man who longs for the antiquated immigration policies established by faulty race science. And given Miller’s key role in the family separations policy, the Muslim ban, and limitations on refugee admissions, they’re further evidence of his white nationalist beliefs. Miller, for all his influence, keeps a low profile, so the SPLC’s report is a reminder of the ugly origins of the ideas promoted by one of the White House’s top policy figures.