[United States Foreign Policy for 2019-2020 is clarified in this speech, for those who wish to study how all 193 nations interrelate in 2020. After the speech text appearing below is further analysis of the speechwriter, Stephen Miller. This will be useful to heads of state, foreign ministers, and United Nations ambassadors. The 2020 General Assembly will be quite different from the one depicted herein. Please share your insights and recommendations in the comment section.]
United Nations Headquarters
PRESIDENT TRUMP: Thank you very much. Mr. President, Mr. Secretary-General, distinguished delegates, ambassadors, and world leaders:
Seven decades of history have passed through this hall, in all of their richness and drama. Where I stand, the world has heard from presidents and premiers at the height of the Cold War. We have seen the foundation of nations. We have seen the ringleaders of revolution. We have beheld saints who inspired us with hope, rebels who stirred us with passion, and heroes who emboldened us with courage – all here to share plans, proposals, visions, and ideas on the world’s biggest stage. Like those who met us before, our time is one of great contests, high stakes, and clear choices. The essential divide that runs all around the world and throughout history is once again thrown into stark relief. It is the divide between those whose thirst for control deludes them into thinking they are destined to rule over others and those people and nations who want only to rule themselves. I have the immense privilege of addressing you today as the elected leader of a nation that prizes liberty, independence, and self-government above all. The United States, after having spent over two and a half trillion dollars since my election to completely rebuild our great military, is also, by far, the world’s most powerful nation. Hopefully, it will never have to use this power. Americans know that in a world where others seek conquest and domination, our nation must be strong in wealth, in might, and in spirit. That is why the United States vigorously defends the traditions and customs that have made us who we are. Like my beloved country, each nation represented in this hall has a cherished history, culture, and heritage that is worth defending and celebrating, and which gives us our singular potential and strength. The free world must embrace its national foundations. It must not attempt to erase them or replace them. Looking around and all over this large, magnificent planet, the truth is plain to see: If you want freedom, take pride in your country. If you want democracy, hold on to your sovereignty. And if you want peace, love your nation. Wise leaders always put the good of their own people and their own country first. The future does not belong to globalists. The future belongs to patriots. The future belongs to sovereign and independent nations who protect their citizens, respect their neighbors, and honor the differences that make each country special and unique. It is why we in the United States have embarked on an exciting program of national renewal. In everything we do, we are focused on empowering the dreams and aspirations of our citizens. Thanks to our pro-growth economic policies, our domestic unemployment rate reached its lowest level in over half a century. Fueled by massive tax cuts and regulations cuts, jobs are being produced at a historic rate. Six million Americans have been added to the employment rolls in under three years. Last month, African American, Hispanic American, and Asian American unemployment reached their lowest rates ever recorded. We are marshaling our nation’s vast energy abundance, and the United States is now the number-one producer of oil and natural gas anywhere in the world. Wages are rising, incomes are soaring, and 2.5 million Americans have been lifted out of poverty in less than three years. As we rebuild the unrivaled might of the American military, we are also revitalizing our alliances by making it very clear that all of our partners are expected to pay their fair share of the tremendous defense burden, which the United States has borne in the past. At the center of our vision for national renewal is an ambitious campaign to reform international trade. For decades, the international trading system has been easily exploited by nations acting in very bad faith. As jobs were outsourced, a small handful grew wealthy at the expense of the middle class. In America, the result was 4.2 million lost manufacturing jobs and $15 trillion in trade deficits over the last quarter century. The United States is now taking that decisive action to end this grave economic injustice. Our goal is simple: We want balanced trade that is both fair and reciprocal. We have worked closely with our partners in Mexico and Canada to replace NAFTA with the brand new and hopefully bipartisan U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement. Tomorrow, I will join Prime Minister Abe of Japan to continue our progress in finalizing a terrific new trade deal. As the United Kingdom makes preparations to exit the European Union, I have made clear that we stand ready to complete an exceptional new trade agreement with the UK that will bring tremendous benefits to both of our countries. We are working closely with Prime Minister Boris Johnson on a magnificent new trade deal. The most important difference in America’s new approach on trade concerns our relationship with China. In 2001, China was admitted to the World Trade Organization. Our leaders then argued that this decision would compel China to liberalize its economy and strengthen protections to provide things that were unacceptable to us, and for private property and for the rule of law.
Two decades later, this theory has been tested and proven completely wrong.
Not only has China declined to adopt promised reforms, it has embraced an economic model dependent on massive market barriers, heavy state subsidies, currency manipulation, product dumping, forced technology transfers, and the theft of intellectual property and also trade secrets on a grand scale. As just one example, I recently met the CEO of a terrific American company, Micron Technology, at the White House. Micron produces memory chips used in countless electronics. To advance the Chinese government’s five-year economic plan, a company owned by the Chinese state allegedly stole Micron’s designs, valued at up to $8.7 billion. Soon, the Chinese company obtains patents for nearly an identical product, and Micron was banned from selling its own goods in China.
But we are seeking justice.
The United States lost 60,000 factories after China entered the WTO. This is happening to other countries all over the globe. The World Trade Organization needs drastic change. The second-largest economy in the world should not be permitted to declare itself a “developing country” in order to game the system at others’ expense. For years, these abuses were tolerated, ignored, or even encouraged. Globalism exerted a religious pull over past leaders, causing them to ignore their own national interests. But as far as America is concerned, those days are over. To confront these unfair practices, I placed massive tariffs on more than $500 billion worth of Chinese-made goods. Already, as a result of these tariffs, supply chains are relocating back to America and to other nations, and billions of dollars are being paid to our treasury. The American people are absolutely committed to restoring balance to our relationship with China. Hopefully, we can reach an agreement that would be beneficial for both countries. But as I have made very clear, I will not accept a bad deal for the American people. As we endeavor to stabilize our relationship, we’re also carefully monitoring the situation in Hong Kong. The world fully expects that the Chinese government will honor its binding treaty, made with the British and registered with the United Nations, in which China commits to protect Hong Kong’s freedom, legal system, and democratic ways of life. How China chooses to handle the situation will say a great deal about its role in the world in the future. We are all counting on President Xi as a great leader. The United States does not seek conflict with any other nation. We desire peace, cooperation, and mutual gain with all. But I will never fail to defend America’s interests. One of the greatest security threats facing peace-loving nations today is the repressive regime in Iran. The regime’s record of death and destruction is well known to us all. Not only is Iran the world’s number-one state sponsor of terrorism, but Iran’s leaders are fueling the tragic wars in both Syria and Yemen. At the same time, the regime is squandering the nation’s wealth and future in a fanatical quest for nuclear weapons and the means to deliver them. We must never allow this to happen. To stop Iran’s path to nuclear weapons and missiles, I withdrew the United States from the terrible Iran nuclear deal, which has very little time remaining, did not allow inspection of important sites, and did not cover ballistic missiles.
Following our withdrawal, we have implemented severe economic sanctions on the country. Hoping to free itself from sanctions, the regime has escalated its violent and unprovoked aggression. In response to Iran’s recent attack on Saudi Arabian oil facilities, we just imposed the highest level of sanctions on Iran’s central bank and sovereign wealth fund.
All nations have a duty to act. No responsible government should subsidize Iran’s bloodlust. As long as Iran’s menacing behavior continues, sanctions will not be lifted; they will be tightened.
Iran’s leaders will have turned a proud nation into just another cautionary tale of what happens when a ruling class abandons its people and embarks on a crusade for personal power and riches. For 40 years, the world has listened to Iran’s rulers as they lash out at everyone else for the problems they alone have created.
They conduct ritual chants of “Death to America” and traffic in monstrous anti-Semitism. Last year the country’s Supreme Leader stated, “Israel is a malignant cancerous tumor… that has to be removed and eradicated: it is possible and it will happen.” America will never tolerate such anti-Semitic hate. Fanatics have long used hatred of Israel to distract from their own failures. Thankfully, there is a growing recognition in the wider Middle East that the countries of the region share common interests in battling extremism and unleashing economic opportunity. That is why it is so important to have full, normalized relations between Israel and its neighbors. Only a relationship built on common interests, mutual respect, and religious tolerance can forge a better future.
Iran’s citizens deserve a government that cares about reducing poverty, ending corruption, and increasing jobs – not stealing their money to fund a massacre abroad and at home. After four decades of failure, it is time for Iran’s leaders to step forward and to stop threatening other countries, and focus on building up their own country.
It is time for Iran’s leaders to finally put the Iranian people first. America is ready to embrace friendship with all who genuinely seek peace and respect. Many of America’s closest friends today were once our gravest foes. The United States has never believed in permanent enemies.
We want partners, not adversaries. America knows that while anyone can make war, only the most courageous can choose peace. For this same reason, we have pursued bold diplomacy on the Korean Peninsula. I have told Kim Jong-un what I truly believe: that, like Iran, his country is full of tremendous untapped potential, but that to realize that promise, North Korea must denuclearize.
Around the world, our message is clear: America’s goal is lasting, America’s goal is harmony, and America’s goal is not to go with these endless wars – wars that never end. With that goal in mind, my administration is also pursuing the hope of a brighter future in Afghanistan.
Unfortunately, the Taliban has chosen to continue their savage attacks. And we will continue to work with our coalition of Afghan partners to stamp out terrorism, and we will never stop working to make peace a reality. Here in the Western hemisphere, we are joining with our partners to ensure stability and opportunity all across the region. In that mission, one of our most critical challenges is illegal immigration, which undermines prosperity, rips apart societies, and empowers ruthless criminal cartels.
Mass illegal migration is unfair, unsafe, and unsustainable for everyone involved: the sending countries and the depleted countries. And they become depleted very fast, but their youth is not taken care of and human capital goes to waste. The receiving countries are overburdened with more migrants than they can responsibly accept.
And the migrants themselves are exploited, assaulted, and abused by vicious coyotes. Nearly one-third of women who make the journey north to our border are sexually assaulted along the way.
Yet, here in the United States and around the world, there is a growing cottage industry of radical activists and non-governmental organizations that promote human smuggling. These groups encourage illegal migration and demand erasure of national borders. Today, I have a message for those open border activists who cloak themselves in the rhetoric of social justice: Your policies are not just. Your policies are cruel and evil. You are empowering criminal organizations that prey on innocent men, women, and children.
You put your own false sense of virtue before the lives, well being, and [of] countless innocent people. When you undermine border security, you are undermining human rights and human dignity. Many of the countries here today are coping with the challenges of uncontrolled migration. Each of you has the absolute right to protect your borders, and so, of course, does our country.
Today, we must resolve to work together to end human smuggling, end human trafficking, and put these criminal networks out of business for good.
To our country, I can tell you sincerely: We are working closely with our friends in the region – including Mexico, Canada, Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, and Panama – to uphold the integrity of borders and ensure safety and prosperity for our people. I would like to thank President López Obrador of Mexico for the great cooperation we are receiving and for right now putting 27,000 troops on our southern border.
Mexico is showing us great respect, and I respect them in return. The U.S., we have taken very unprecedented action to stop the flow of illegal immigration. To anyone considering crossings of our border illegally, please hear these words: Do not pay the smugglers. Do not pay the coyotes. Do not put yourself in danger. Do not put your children in danger. Because if you make it here, you will not be allowed in; you will be promptly returned home. You will not be released into our country.
As long as I am President of the United States, we will enforce our laws and protect our borders. For all of the countries of the Western hemisphere, our goal is to help people invest in the bright futures of their own nation. Our region is full of such incredible promise: dreams waiting to be built and national destinies for all. And they are waiting also to be pursued.
Throughout the hemisphere, there are millions of hardworking, patriotic young people eager to build, innovate, and achieve. But these nations cannot reach their potential if a generation of youth abandon their homes in search of a life elsewhere.
We want every nation in our region to flourish and its people to thrive in freedom and peace. In that mission, we are also committed to supporting those people in the Western hemisphere who live under brutal oppression, such as those in Cuba, Nicaragua, and Venezuela.
According to a recent report from the U.N. Human Rights Council, women in Venezuela stand in line for 10 hours a day waiting for food. Over 15,000 people have been detained as political prisoners. Modern-day death squads are carrying out thousands of extrajudicial killings. The dictator Maduro is a Cuban puppet, protected by Cuban bodyguards, hiding from his own people while Cuba plunders Venezuela’s oil wealth to sustain its own corrupt communist rule.
Since I last spoke in this hall, the United States and our partners have built a historic coalition of 55 countries that recognize the legitimate government of Venezuela.
To the Venezuelans trapped in this nightmare: Please know that all of America is united behind you. The United States has vast quantities of humanitarian aid ready and waiting to be delivered. We are watching the Venezuela situation very closely. We await the day when democracy will be restored, when Venezuela will be free, and when liberty will prevail throughout this hemisphere. One of the most serious challenges our countries face is the specter of socialism. It’s the wrecker of nations and destroyer of societies.
Events in Venezuela remind us all that socialism and communism are not about justice, they are not about equality, they are not about lifting up the poor, and they are certainly not about the good of the nation. Socialism and communism are about one thing only: power for the ruling class.
Today, I repeat a message for the world that I have delivered at home: America will never be a socialist country. In the last century, socialism and communism killed 100 million people. Sadly, as we see in Venezuela, the death toll continues in this country. These totalitarian ideologies, combined with modern technology, have the power to excise [exercise] new and disturbing forms of suppression and domination. For this reason, the United States is taking steps to better screen foreign technology and investments and to protect our data and our security. We urge every nation present to do the same. Freedom and democracy must be constantly guarded and protected, both abroad and from within.
We must always be skeptical of those who want conformity and control. Even in free nations, we see alarming signs and new challenges to liberty. A small number of social-media platforms are acquiring immense power over what we can see and over what we are allowed to say. A permanent political class is openly disdainful, dismissive, and defiant of the will of the people. A faceless bureaucracy operates in secret and weakens democratic rule.
Media and academic institutions push flat-out assaults on our histories, traditions, and values. In the United States, my administration has made clear to social-media companies that we will uphold the right of free speech. A free society cannot allow social-media giants to silence the voices of the people, and a free people must never, ever be enlisted in the cause of silencing, coercing, canceling, or blacklisting their own neighbors.
As we defend American values, we affirm the right of all people to live in dignity. For this reason, my administration is working with other nations to stop criminalizing of homosexuality, and we stand in solidarity with LGBTQ people who live in countries that punish, jail, or execute individuals based upon sexual orientation. We are also championing the role of women in our societies. Nations that empower women are much wealthier, safer, and much more politically stable. It is therefore vital not only to a nation’s prosperity, but also is vital to its national security, to pursue women’s economic development. Guided by these principles, my administration launched the Women’s Global Development and Prosperity Initiatives. The W-GDP is first-ever government-wide approach to women’s economic empowerment, working to ensure that women all over the planet have the legal right to own and inherit property, work in the same industries as men, travel freely, and access credit and institutions.
Yesterday, I was also pleased to host leaders for a discussion about an ironclad American commitment: protecting religious leaders and also protecting religious freedom. This fundamental right is under growing threat around the world. Hard to believe, but 80 percent of the world’s population lives in countries where religious liberty is in significant danger or even completely outlawed. Americans will never fire or tire in our effort to defend and promote freedom of worship and religion. We want and support religious liberty for all. Americans will also never tire of defending innocent life. We are aware that many United Nations projects have attempted to assert a global right to taxpayer-funded abortion on demand, right up until the moment of delivery.
Global bureaucrats have absolutely no business attacking the sovereignty of nations that wish to protect innocent life. Like many nations here today, we in America believe that every child – born and unborn – is a sacred gift from God. There is no circumstance under which the United States will allow international entities to trample on the rights of our citizens, including the right to self-defense.
That is why, this year, I announced that we will never ratify the U.N. Arms Trade Treaty, which would threaten the liberties of law-abiding American citizens. The United States will always uphold our constitutional right to keep and bear arms. We will always uphold our Second Amendment. The core rights and values America defends today were inscribed in America’s founding documents.
Our nation’s founders understood that there will always be those who believe they are entitled to wield power and control over others. Tyranny advances under many names and many theories, but it always comes down to the desire for domination. It protects not the interests of many, but the privilege of few. Our founders gave us a system designed to restrain this dangerous impulse. They chose to entrust American power to those most invested in the fate of our nation: a proud and fiercely independent people.
The true good of a nation can only be pursued by those who love it: by citizens who are rooted in its history, who are nourished by its culture, committed to its values, attached to its people, and who know that its future is theirs to build or theirs to lose. Patriots see a nation and its destiny in ways no one else can. Liberty is only preserved, sovereignty is only secured, democracy is only sustained, greatness is only realized, by the will and devotion of patriots.
In their spirit is found the strength to resist oppression, the inspiration to forge legacy, the goodwill to seek friendship, and the bravery to reach for peace. Love of our nations makes the world better for all nations. So to all the leaders here today, join us in the most fulfilling mission a person could have, the most profound contribution anyone can make: Lift up your nations. Cherish your culture. Honor your histories. Treasure your citizens.
Make your countries strong, and prosperous, and righteous. Honor the dignity of your people, and nothing will be outside of your reach. When our nations are greater, the future will be brighter, our people will be happier, and our partnerships will be stronger. With God’s help, together we will cast off the enemies of liberty and overcome the oppressors of dignity. We will set new standards of living and reach new heights of human achievement.
We will rediscover old truths, unravel old mysteries, and make thrilling new breakthroughs. And we will find more beautiful friendship and more harmony among nations than ever before. My fellow leaders, the path to peace and progress, and freedom and justice, and a better world for all humanity, begins at home. Thank you. God bless you. God bless the nations of the world. And God bless America. Thank you very much. (Applause.) END
Wikipedia~~~This speech was written by Stephen Miller. Stephen Miller (born August 23, 1985) is an American government official who serves as a senior advisor for policy to President Donald Trump. His politics have been described as far-right and anti-immigration. He was previously the communications director for then-Senator Jeff Sessions. He was also a press secretary for U.S. Representatives Michele Bachmann and John Shadegg.
As a speechwriter for Trump, Miller helped write Trump’s inaugural address. He has been a key adviser since the early days of Trump’s presidency. An immigration hardliner, Miller was a chief architect of Trump’s travel ban, the administration’s reduction of refugees accepted to the United States, and Trump’s policy of separating migrant children from their parents. He has prevented the publication of internal administration studies that showed that refugees had a net positive effect on government revenues. Miller reportedly played a central role in the resignation in April 2019 of Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen, whom he believed was insufficiently hawkish on immigration.
As a White House spokesman, Miller has on multiple occasions made false and unsubstantiated claims regarding widespread electoral fraud. Emails leaked in November 2019 showed that Miller had promoted white nationalist publications and conspiracy theories.
Miller was born on August 23, 1985, the second of three children in the Jewish family of Michael D. Miller, a real estate investor, and Miriam (ne’e Glosser). He grew up in Santa Monica, California. His mother’s ancestors Wolf Lieb Glotzer and his wife, Bessie immigrated to the United States from the Russian Empire’s Antopol, in what is present-day Belarus, arriving in New York on January 7, 1903, on the German ship S.S. Moltke, thus escaping the 1903-06 anti-Jewish pogroms in Belarus and other parts of the Russian Empire. When his great-grandmother arrived in the US in 1906, she spoke only Yiddish, the historical language of the Ashkenazi Jews of Eastern Europe.
Miller has said he became a committed conservative after reading Guns, Crime, and Freedom, a book opposing gun control by Wayne LaPierre, CEO of the National Rifle Association. While attending Santa Monica High School, Miller began appearing on conservative talk radio. In 2002, at the age of 16, Miller wrote a letter to the editor of the Santa Monica Outlook criticizing his school’s response to the September 11 attacks; he wrote: “Osama Bin Laden would feel very welcome at Santa Monica High School.”
Miller invited conservative activist David Horowitz to speak, first at the high school and later at Duke University; afterward he denounced the fact that neither institution would authorize the event. Miller was in the habit of “riling up his fellow [high school] classmates with controversial statements”; for instance, he told Latino students to speak only English.
In 2007, Miller received his bachelor’s degree from Duke University, where he studied political science. He served as president of the Duke chapter of Horowitz’s Students for Academic Freedom and wrote conservative columns for the school newspaper. Miller gained national attention for his defense of the students who were wrongly accused of rape in the Duke lacrosse case. While attending Duke, Miller accused poet and civil-rights activist Maya Angelou of “racial paranoia” and described student organization Chicano Student Movement of Aztla’n (MEChA) as a “radical national Hispanic group that believes in racial superiority”.
Miller and the Duke Conservative Union helped co-member Richard Spencer, a Duke graduate student at the time, with fundraising and promotion for an immigration policy debate in March 2007 between Peter Laufer, an open-borders activist and University of Oregon professor, and journalist Peter Brimelow, founder of the anti-immigration website VDARE. Spencer later became an important figure in the white supremacist movement and president of the National Policy Institute; he coined the term “alt-right”.
In a 2016 interview, Spencer said he had mentored Miller at Duke. Describing their close relationship, Spencer said that he was “kind of glad no one’s talked about this”, for fear of harming Trump. In a later blog post, he said the relationship had been exaggerated. Miller has said he has “absolutely no relationship with Mr. Spencer” and that he “completely repudiate[s] his views, and his claims are 100 percent false”.
Duke University’s former senior vice president, John Burness, told The News & Observer in February 2017 that, while at Duke, Miller “seemed to assume that if you were in disagreement with him, there was something malevolent or stupid about your thinking incredibly intolerant”. According to Jane Stancill of The News & Observer, during the Duke lacrosse case, Miller’s was the “lonely voice insisting that the players were innocent”. History professor KC Johnson described Duke’s atmosphere during the case as not “conducive to speaking up” and praised Miller’s role in it: “I think it did take a lot of courage, and he has to get credit for that.”
After graduating from college, Miller began to work as a press secretary for Congresswoman Michele Bachmann and Congressman John Shadegg, both Republicans. In 2009, Miller switched to working for Alabama senator Jeff Sessions, who was later appointed United States attorney general. He rose to the position of Sessions’ communications director. In the 113th Congress, Miller played a major role in defeating the bipartisan Gang of Eight’s proposed immigration-reform bill. As communications director, Miller was responsible for writing many of the speeches Sessions gave about the bill. Miller and Sessions developed what Miller describes as “nation-state populism”, a response to globalization and immigration that influenced Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign. Miller also worked on Dave Brat’s successful 2014 House campaign, which unseated Republican majority leader Eric Cantor.
In January 2016, Miller joined Trump’s 2016 campaign as a senior policy adviser. Beginning in March 2016, he regularly spoke on behalf of the campaign, serving as a “warm-up act” for Trump. Miller wrote the speech Trump gave at the 2016 Republican National Convention. In August 2016, Miller was named the head of Trump’s economic policy team.
Miller was seen as sharing an “ideological kinship” with former White House chief strategist and Breitbart News co-founder Steve Bannon, and had a “long collaboration” with him. However, Miller distanced himself from Bannon in 2017 as Bannon fell out of favor with others in the White House.
In November 2016, Miller was named national policy director of Trump’s transition team. On December 13, 2016, the transition team announced that Miller would serve as Senior Advisor to the President for Policy during the Trump administration. He was initially given responsibility for setting all domestic policy, but quickly assumed responsibility for immigration policy only.
In the early days of Trump’s presidency, Miller worked with Senator Jeff Sessions, Trump’s nominee for Attorney General, and Steve Bannon, Trump’s chief strategist, to enact policies through executive orders to restrict immigration and crack down on sanctuary cities. Miller and Bannon preferred executive orders to legislation.
Miller’s and Sessions’s views on immigration were influenced by anti-immigration groups like the Federation for American Immigration Reform, NumbersUSA, and the Center for Immigration Studies. Miller and Bannon were involved in the formation of Executive Order 13769, which sought to restrict U.S. travel and immigration by citizens of seven Muslim countries, and suspend the United States Refugee Admissions Program (USRAP) for 120 days, while indefinitely suspending entry of Syrians to the United States. Miller has been credited as the person behind the Trump administration’s decision to reduce the number of refugees accepted into the United States.
Miller played an influential role in Trump’s decision to fire FBI director James Comey in May 2017. Miller and Trump drafted a letter to Comey that was not sent after an internal review and opposition from White House counsel Don McGahn, but Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein was given a copy, after which he prepared his own letter to Comey, which was cited as the reason for firing Comey. In November 2017, Miller was interviewed by special counsel Robert Mueller in relation to his role in Comey’s dismissal.
Miller during the April 2017 Syrian missile-strike operation
In September 2017, The New York Times reported that Miller stopped the Trump administration from showing the public an internal study by the Department of Health and Human Services that found that refugees had a net positive effect on government revenues. Miller insisted that only the costs of refugees be publicized, not the revenues refugees bring in.
In October 2017, Trump provided a list of immigration-reform demands to Congress, asking for the construction of more wall along the Mexico-United States border, hiring 10,000 additional U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents, tightened asylum policies, and the discontinuance of federal funds to sanctuary cities in exchange for any action on undocumented immigrants who arrived as minors. Those immigrants had been protected from deportation under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals policy until that policy’s rescission a month earlier, in September 2017. The New York Times reported that Miller and Sessions were among the Trump-administration officials who developed the demands.
In May 2018, it was reported Miller had attended a controversial meeting that included George Nader on behalf of two Arab princes, Wikistrat CEO Joel Zamel, Erik Prince, and Donald Trump Jr., on August 3, 2016. The New York Times had also reported in November 2017 that Miller was in regular contact with George Papadopoulos during the campaign about his discussions with Russian government officials.
Miller and Attorney General Sessions were described as the chief champions of the Trump administration’s decision to start to separate migrant children from their parents when they crossed the U.S. border. Miller argued that such a policy would deter migrants from coming to the United States. After Miller gave an on-the-record interview to the Times, the White House requested that the Times not publish portions of it on its podcast, The Daily; the Times acceded to the request.
In July 2018, senior White House official Jennifer Arangio was fired after she reportedly advocated that the United States remain in the Global Compact for Migration (a United Nations plan intended to “cover all dimensions of international migration in a holistic and comprehensive manner”), defended the State Department’s refugee bureau when Miller sought to defund it, and corrected misleading information about refugees that Miller was presenting to Trump.
“I have watched with dismay and increasing horror as my nephew, an educated man who is well aware of his heritage, has become the architect of immigration policies that repudiate the very foundation of our family’s life in this country.”
Dr. David S. Glosser, uncle of Stephen Miller
On August 13, 2018, Politico published an essay by Miller’s uncle, Dr. David S. Glosser, titled “Stephen Miller Is an Immigration Hypocrite. I Know Because I’m His Uncle”, in which he detailed the Glosser family’s history of coming to the United States from the village of Antopal in present-day Belarus.
In October 2018, the Financial Times reported that Miller sought to make it impossible for Chinese students to study in the United States. Miller argued that a ban was necessary to reduce Chinese espionage, but that another benefit was that it would hurt elite universities with staff and students critical of Trump. Within the Trump administration, Miller’s idea faced opposition, in particular from Terry Branstad, the ambassador to China, who argued that such a ban would harm US trade to China and hurt small American universities more than the elite ones.
In the lead-up to the 2018 midterm elections, Miller played an influential role in Trump’s messaging, which focused on sowing fears about immigration.Trump’s party lost 40 seats in the House in those elections, in part because, according to Vox writer Dara Lind, Trump and Miller’s “closing argument” focusing on immigrants appealed solely to “white identity politics”, which does not have majority support in the United States.
In January 2019, Miller reportedly reduced the number of immigrants who would receive protections as part of a proposed offer by Trump to grant protections for some immigrants in exchange for congressional support for funds to construct a border wall.
Miller reportedly played a central role in Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen’s resignation on April 7, 2019, as part of a larger department overhaul aimed at steering the Trump administration towards a “tougher” approach on immigration. Nielsen had opposed a plan Miller supported whereby the Trump administration would carry out mass arrests of undocumented immigrant families in 10 major U.S. cities. Quartz reported that Miller had been purposely leaking information on border apprehensions and asylum seekers to the Washington Examiner so that the paper would publish alarming anti-immigration stories that criticized Nielsen. During the same month, Representative Ilhan Omar called Miller a white nationalist as part of her comments on the Department of Homeland Security overhaul, which led to a strong response from several Republicans, including Representative Lee Zeldin and Donald Trump Jr., who accused her of anti-Semitism as Miller is Jewish. Following the expose’ by the Southern Poverty Law Center in November 2019, Omar reshared the April tweet in which she had called Miller a white nationalist, adding that “now we have the emails to prove it”.
While in the Trump administration, Miller met repeatedly with British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson, whom Miller described himself as a “huge fan” of. During the meetings, which were held off the White House grounds, Miller and Johnson “swapped speech-writing ideas and tips”.
In November 2019, the Southern Poverty Law Center acquired more than 900 emails Miller sent writer Katie McHugh at Breitbart News between 2015 and 2016. The emails became the basis for an expose’ that showed that Miller had enthusiastically pushed the views of white nationalist publications such as American Renaissance and VDARE, as well as the far-right conspiracy website InfoWars, and promoted The Camp of the Saints, a French novel circulating among neo-Nazis, shaping both White House policy and Breitbart’s coverage of racial politics.
In response to the expose’, White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham called the SPLC an “utterly discredited, long-debunked far-left smear organization.” As of November 15, 2019, over 80 Democratic members of Congress have called for Miller’s resignation in light of his emails. On November 13, Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-New York) started a petition that had reached more than 20,000 signatures by November 16. According to The Daily Beast, seven “senior Trump administration officials with knowledge of Miller’s standing with the president and top staffers have all individually told The Daily Beast that the story did not endanger Miller’s position, or change Trump’s favorable view of him. Two of them literally laughed at the mere suggestion that the Hatewatch expose’ could have toppled or hobbled the top Trump adviser.”
On February 8, 2016, Miller participated in an interview with InfoWars, during which he praised the site and its owner, Alex Jones, for its coverage of immigration and the Trans-Pacific Partnership.
In a February 2017 appearance on CBS’ Face the Nation, Miller criticized the federal courts for blocking Trump’s travel ban, accusing the judiciary of having “taken far too much power and become, in many cases, a supreme branch of government… Our opponents, the media and the whole world will soon see as we begin to take further actions, that the powers of the president to protect our country are very substantial and will not be questioned.”
Miller’s assertion was met with criticism from legal experts, such as Ilya Shapiro of the Cato Institute (who said that the administration’s comments could undercut public confidence in the judiciary) and Cornell Law School professor Jens David Ohlin (who said that the statement showed “an absurd lack of appreciation for the separation of powers” set forth in the Constitution). In the same appearance, Miller falsely said there was significant voter fraud in the 2016 presidential election and that “thousands of illegal voters were bused in” to New Hampshire. Miller did not provide any evidence in support of the statements; The Washington Post’s Glenn Kessler found that Miller has on multiple occasions made false or unsubstantiated claims regarding electoral fraud.
On January 7, 2018, Miller appeared on Jake Tapper’s State of the Union on CNN. In the course of Tapper’s interview of him, Miller called Steve Bannon’s comments about the Trump Tower meeting in Michael Wolff’s book Fire and Fury “grotesque”. Miller then went on to state, “The president is a political genius… who took down the Bush dynasty, who took down the Clinton dynasty, who took down the entire media complex”. Tapper accused Miller of dodging questions, while Miller questioned the legitimacy of CNN as a news broadcaster, and as the interview became more contentious, with both participants talking over each other, Tapper ended the interview and continued to the next news story. After the interview was over Miller refused to leave the CNN studio and had to be escorted out by security.
In February 2019, as a controversy arose from a declaration of national emergency by Trump in order to fund building a wall along the southern border with Mexico that had been denied by Congress, Miller defended the declaration during a televised interview by Chris Wallace.
Debate with Jim Acosta
On August 2, 2017, Miller had a heated exchange with CNN’s Jim Acosta at the White House daily briefing regarding the Trump administration’s support for the RAISE Act to sharply limit legal immigration and favor immigrants with high English proficiency.Acosta said that the proposal was at odds with American traditions concerning immigration and said that the Statue of Liberty welcomes immigrants to the U.S., invoking verses from Emma Lazarus’s The New Colossus. Miller disputed the connection between the Statue of Liberty and immigration, pointing out that “the poem that you’re referring to, that was added later, is not actually a part of the original Statue of Liberty.” Miller added that immigration has “ebbed and flowed” throughout American history and asked how many immigrants the U.S. had to accept annually to “meet Jim Acosta’s definition of the Statue of Liberty law of the land”.
In their coverage, multiple publications (such as the Washington Post, Washington Monthly and U.S. News & World Report) commented that the distinction Miller made between the Statue of Liberty and Lazarus’ poem has been a popular talking point among the white supremacist segments of the alt-right. The Post’s Michelle Ye Hee Lee stated that “Neither got it quite right about the Statue of Liberty… While the poem itself was not a part of the original statue, it actually was commissioned in 1883 to help raise funds for the pedestal” and “gave another layer of meaning to the statue beyond its abolitionist message”.
Miller married Katie Waldman, a fellow administration official, on February 16, 2020.
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