11 votes

Stephen Miller: The Breitbart emails

Before the 2016 election, White House senior adviser Stephen Miller regularly emailed Breitbart News editors. The Southern Poverty Law Center evaluated more than 900 of those correspondences. SPLC’s investigative analysis of those messages that reveal Miller’s alignment with white nationalist thought and far-right extremism.

SPLC has run a series on Stephen Miller's white nationalism, the latest of which was published yesterday. Here are links to the main articles out so far.

In this, the first of what will be a series about those emails, Hatewatch exposes the racist source material that has influenced Miller’s visions of policy. That source material, as laid out in his emails to Breitbart, includes white nationalist websites, a “white genocide”-themed novel in which Indian men rape white women, xenophobic conspiracy theories and eugenics-era immigration laws that Adolf Hitler lauded in “Mein Kampf.”

Miller flagged “The Camp of the Saints,” a book popular among white nationalists and neo-Nazis, to the conservative website on Sept. 6, 2015, when he was an aide to then-Sen. Jeff Sessions of Alabama.
“The Camp of the Saints” by Jean Raspail first came out in France in 1973, and the novel gradually gained popularity among extremists for its fictionalization of the “great replacement” or “white genocide” myth.

Miller shows ties to the think tank Center for Immigration Studies (CIS). CIS researchers say the White House has invited them into policymaking discussions. The White House and CIS did not respond to multiple requests for comment on this Hatewatch report. The SPLC began listing CIS as an anti-immigrant hate group in 2016. Since then, others have raised questions about the way the group’s analysts choose to portray immigration in a negative light. In an August article in The Washington Post, CIS tried to distance itself from a far-right attack in El Paso, Texas, responding to criticism that the organization and the young shooting suspect shared similar viewpoints on immigration.

Miller emailed then-Breitbart News editor Katie McHugh a post from conservative pundit Mickey Kaus criticizing Marco Rubio’s GOP presidential run on Feb. 6, 2016, a little less than two weeks after joining Donald Trump’s campaign, saying someone needed to aggregate the piece for the site. Aggregation in journalism happens when writers turn other outlets’ stories, opinion pieces or social media posts into new stories for their publications. Hours later, Breitbart published an article headlined “Mickey Kaus: Marco Rubio Hides Pro-Donor Amnesty Behind Anti-ISIS Bluster.”

Miller viewed the highly trafficked Breitbart as a way to promote his nativist, anti-immigration policies and to attack political enemies before millions of readers. And, while politicians and their staff commonly seek to influence news coverage, the dynamic on display in Miller’s emails to Breitbart suggests the conservative outlet was “not playing by the same rules that legitimate news organizations play by,” said Kyle Pope, editor-in-chief of the Columbia Journalism Review.

1 comment

  1. dubteedub
    (edited )
    I don't think that anyone is exactly surprised that the architect for the Trump administration's incredibly racist policies towards immigration and Muslims is himself a white nationalist, but...

    I don't think that anyone is exactly surprised that the architect for the Trump administration's incredibly racist policies towards immigration and Muslims is himself a white nationalist, but these emails lay out Miller's beliefs with a ton of evidence.

    It is also notable that the White House is still standing by Miller despite these emails coming out.

    It is unfortunate to me that this seems to have been lost in the news cycle over the last week. In any other time or era this would have been incredibly damning, but the media and public seem to just be so jaded by the racism of Trump and his cronies that this has barely made a blip.

    The New York Times also just shared this piece that I think raises some good points on this.

    The question now is whether any of this can be made to matter. Miller’s aversion to nonwhite immigrants, after all, is hardly a secret — it’s why he has his job in the first place. He’s been pushing white nationalist policies for three years, championing the Muslim ban and the sadistic policy of family separation and encouraging Trump to slash refugee admissions. In an email to McHugh, Miller argued against Mexican hurricane victims receiving temporary protected status, a provision protecting people displaced by natural disasters and wars from deportation. (“T.P.S. is everything,” he wrote.) Now he’s a leading figure in an administration that has tried to yank T.P.S. from more than 300,000 people. Meanwhile, he reportedly worked on a plan with Gordon Sondland, Trump’s hackish ambassador to the European Union, to encourage more immigration from Europe. The Washington Post reported that some of his own co-workers believe he holds racist views, though he insisted otherwise.

    So it’s not a shock to learn about the roots of Miller’s ideology. There’s a difference, however, between knowing something and proving it. “The evidence is incontrovertible,” Jonathan Greenblatt, head of the Anti-Defamation League, told me of Miller’s white nationalist associations. “It’s no longer speculation. It’s now been substantiated.” He said bluntly: “Stephen Miller must resign.”

    5 votes