Topline: Jewish organizations, civil rights groups and more than 100 House Democrats are calling on White House aide Stephen Miller to resign after leaked emails detailed his links to white nationalist ideas prior to his work inside the Trump Administration—but even as pressure ramps up from Democrats, the White House continues to defend Miller.
107 Democratic House members wrote a letter to Trump Thursday calling for Miller’s firing, saying that “a documented white nationalist has no place in any presidential administration, and especially not in such an influential position.”
One House Republican, Representative Mike Coffman (R-Colorado), has also called on Miller to step down.
More than 50 national civil rights groups, including the NAACP and the Muslim Public Affairs Council, called for Miller’s resignation in a letter to President Donald Trump on Monday, saying the controversial White House aide “has stoked bigotry, hate, and division with his extreme political rhetoric and policies throughout his career.”
Jewish groups, too, are calling for Miller’s resignation, which is significant because after the Southern Poverty Law Center reported on the emails last week, White House officials said that criticism of Miller, who is Jewish, amounted to anti-Semitism.
“Mr. Miller condemns racism and bigotry in all forms, while those defaming him are trying to deny his Jewish identity which is a pernicious form of anti-Semitism and this outrageous smear dishonors the memories of Jewish victims of anti-Semitic persecution across the globe,” White House deputy press secretary Hogan Gidley told Yahoo News
The Anti-Defamation League, the Union for Reform Judaism, J-Street and several progressive Jewish organizations, including Bend The Arc and IfNotNow, and are among those calling on Miller to resign. “As American Jews, we are outraged that this administration would use the rising antisemitism for which it is responsible to deflect away from its embrace of white nationalists like Miller,” a petition signed by several Jewish groups reads.
News peg: The Southern Poverty Law Center reported on a series of leaked emails last week that showed Stephen Miller linking to white nationalists websites, such as VDARE and American Renaissance, and highlighting stories about crime committed by nonwhite people in exchanges with a Breitbart editor when he was an aide to then-Alabama Senator Jeff Sessions in 2015 and 2016.
Key background: Miller was appointed as a senior adviser to Trump after he was elected in 2016 and has since sought to quietly influence the president’s immigration policy. He is behind Trump’s “zero tolerance” policy, which he has fervently defended and which led to the separation of families at the U.S.-Mexico border and the travel ban against people from some Muslim-majority countries. He has previously denied that he holds racist views, after promoting policies against both illegal and legal immigration