- Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images
- White House senior policy adviser Stephen Miller has reportedly wielded significant clout under the Trump administration, particularly on immigration issues.
- But his reactions to the ongoing crisis on the border have been described by some as problematic.
- One outside adviser said Miller “actually enjoys seeing those pictures” of the border where thousands of migrant children are seen in distress after being separated from their families.
- “He’s a twisted guy, the way he was raised and picked on,” the adviser said.
White House senior policy adviser Stephen Miller has reportedly become an influential figure in the Trump administration, particularly as White House officials battled to stave off public criticism over its “zero-tolerance” immigration policy.
Miller has reportedly been a key player in the matter, as President Donald Trump and his allies spent days defending the policy, which automatically refers for prosecution the people who cross the US-Mexico border illegally. That policy has resulted in thousands of families being separated from their children.
Stories and images of child detention centers have spread throughout television, newspapers, and social media – eventually prompting Trump to reverse course on the issue he’d been saying only Congress could fix. On Wednesday, Trump signed an executive order to halt the separation of migrant parents and their children, but the broader practice of detainment remains in effect.
Miller, who had already established himself as a hardline immigration hawk, was described as having enjoyed the chaos that ensued after the Trump administration’s zero-tolerance policy took effect.
“Stephen actually enjoys seeing those pictures at the border,” an outside White House adviser said to Vanity Fair.
“He’s a twisted guy, the way he was raised and picked on,” the adviser said. “There’s always been a way he’s gone about this. He’s Waffen-SS.”
“No nation can have the policy that whole classes of people are immune from immigration law or enforcement,” Miller said in a New York Times report published on Saturday. “It was a simple decision by the administration to have a zero tolerance policy for illegal entry, period. The message is that no one is exempt from immigration law.”
After spending days defending the zero-tolerance policy and arguing that separating children from their families was a byproduct of policies only Congress can fix, Trump reversed his position and signed an executive order ending the practice of family separation.
The zero-tolerance policy remains in effect, and people entering the US illegally will still be subject to criminal prosecution.