Stephen Miller, President Donald Trump’s senior advisor for policy, finally spoke out in response to the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) attack against him. The SPLC had claimed to unearth a vast trove of Miller’s emails in which he linked to white nationalist websites. Democrats in Congress have joined with various advocacy groups to demand his resignation. On Friday, Miller defended the emails and condemned the anti-Semitism in the Democratic Party.
Citing the emails — and the fact that 25 Jewish House Democrats had sent a letter demanding Trump fire him — Fox Business host Trish Regan asked Miller, “Are you a white supremacist?”
“Not only am I not anything of the sort but I find the accusation to be profoundly offensive and completely outrageous,” Miller responded. “It’s an attempt on the part of the Democratic Party to attack and demonize a Jewish staffer. And make no mistake, there’s a deep vein of anti-Semitism that is running through today’s Democratic Party. That’s why you’ve seen that a lot of the attacks have been coming from Representative Omar, who has a very stained and sordid history of anti-Semitism.”
The left accusing White House Senior Adviser #StephenMiller of being a "WHITE SUPREMACIST" and, demanding his resignation. I asked him straight up, "Are you?"
— Trish Regan (@trish_regan) December 20, 2019
Indeed, Omar has pushed the stereotype that Jews are “all about the Benjamins.” She has condemned Israel: “Israel has hypnotized the world, may Allah awaken the people and help them see the evil doings of Israel.” She has compared boycotts of Israel to boycotts of Nazi Germany. She compared Israel to Iran. Israel took the unusual step of banning her and Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.) from entering the country.
Yet the Democratic Party’s terrifying connections to anti-Semitism go far beyond Omar. Miller condemned the party’s “tolerance for and embrace of anti-Semitism. Whether it’s in the form of the BDS movement, whether it’s in the form of the attacks against the state of Israel, whether it’s in the form of left-wing anti-Semitism on our college campuses, today’s Democratic Party has made friends with anti-Semitism. No matter what they try to do, they can’t cover up that fact.”
Miller, who is himself Jewish, also argued that Democrats accusing a Jew of being a white nationalist is “inherently anti-Semitic.”
“Families like mine have been persecuted by individuals holding a white nationalist or white supremacist ideology. My family for generations, going back to Eastern Europe, has been the victims of this ideology,” the White House staffer said. “To say to a Jewish person that you hold the very ideology that has persecuted your own family is so profoundly inappropriate.”
Indeed, he descends from Belarussian Jews who fled the 1903-1906 pogroms in the former Russian Empire.
Returning to the SPLC-led Democratic attack against him, Miller argued that nothing he actually wrote in the emails was objectionable.
Referring to the House Democrats’ letter, he said, “You won’t see any of my emails quoted in that letter, because there’s nothing wrong in any of my emails. There’s nothing wrong in anything I said unless being proud to be an American and standing up for American citizens is a crime.”
Miller then claimed that to today’s Democratic Party, it is a crime. “Being pro-American to today’s Democratic Party is a thought-crime,” he argued.
The White House staffer claimed that Democrats sent a letter from Jewish members of Congress “to cover up … this vein of anti-Semitism that pulses through the Democratic Party.”
“But no amount of distraction on their part can cover up what the Democratic Party is today: a party that is comfortable, for example, breaking bread with Louis Farrakhan,” he added. Indeed, many prominent Democrats — including Barack Obama — have been photographed with Farrakhan, a notorious anti-Semite.
Then Miller hit on the left’s demonization of those who disagree with them, a common tactic of the SPLC.
“And the broader issue: the way Americans are targeted by the left for personal destruction simply for believing that we should have a secure border, simply for believing we should have and enforce immigration laws,” he said. “The way that they attack honest decent patriotic Americans should offend every single citizen of this country. It is the new McCarthyism, virulent, untethered from reality, and filled with venom and hatred.”
The SPLC maintains a list of “hate groups” — padded to scare donors and skewed to smear political opponents. Adopted by corporate America, big tech, and the media, that list uses guilt-by-association to smear mainstream conservative and Christian groups by placing them alongside the Ku Klux Klan.
Despite a devastating racism, sexism, and hate-for-pay scandal early this year, the SPLC has a surprising amount of influence. Conservative non-profits have been booted from AmazonSmile, they have lost their credit card processing companies, they have been blacklisted by Eventbrite and Hyatt, and even Mar-a-Lago canceled an ACT for America event. In one case, a deranged shooter used the SPLC “hate map” to target the Family Research Council for a terrorist attack.
The SPLC’s smears have cost the organization millions in a defamation lawsuit, and more lawsuits are active and forthcoming.
The SPLC’s “hate group” blacklisting follows the exact same playbook as Sen. Joe McCarthy in identifying enemies and cutting them off from polite society.
Miller argued that the attack on him has everything to do with Trump, who is protecting Americans from this demonization and from the horrific effects of Democratic policies.
“I will not take moral lectures from a party that endorses the slaughter of innocent Americans in sanctuary cities,” he said. “Where is their compassion? Where is their empathy?”
“The truth is that they’re after this president because he is the man standing between them and the American people they are determined to target,” the White House staffer insisted. Their targets include “millions of Americans of faith that the Democratic Party is determined to bulldoze because they want to create their pro-abortion, secular, irreligious, open borders nation of socialism and communism.”
While I agree with most of Miller’s points, I find his clear hyperbole and his decision to go on the offensive slightly unnerving. It stands to reason that a man of Jewish descent would be particularly incensed by accusations of white nationalism, but the White House staffer should explain why the claims against him are wrong, rather than merely going on the offensive.
That said, the SPLC’s case against him does not seem particularly strong. As PJ Media’s Leo Goldstein pointed out, the SPLC does not quote from Miller’s emails, but Miller has not denied sending links from white nationalist websites to Breitbart. The former Breitbart editor who leaked the emails to the SPLC has identified herself as a recovering white nationalist. Perhaps Miller knew his audience and sent her a link or two from the notorious white nationalist site Vdare.
One of the SPLC’s supposed exposes against Miller involves him sending materials from the Center for Immigration Studies (CIS), a conservative think tank unfairly slandered as a “hate group” by the SPLC.
CIS Executive Director Mark Krikorian also provided an important explanation as to why some immigration hawks might link to Vdare while vehemently opposing what the site stands for. “There’s all kinds of stuff on Vdare that I have problems with,” he told The Washington Post last year. “But you know it is one of the main sources of commentary on immigration, and I’d be doing a disservice to readers not including immigration-related stuff that appears on Vdare.”
When the SPLC published the attack on Miller, Krikorian called it “even more absurdly empty than the impeachment schiff show.” He went through numerous parts of the expose, mocking it as “a long, lurid fundraising letter to prompt gullible lefties to pad the SPLC’s half-billion-dollar hoard of cash.”
That sure sounds like the SPLC. Even so, I had been hoping to hear a bit more substance from Miller dismissing more of the SPLC’s claims.
Follow Tyler O’Neil, the author of this article, on Twitter at @Tyler2ONeil.