More than 20 U.S. senators now call on White House senior adviser Stephen Miller to resign after leaked emails published last week revealed the disturbing depths of his white nationalism.
HuffPost contacted the offices of all 100 senators to ask whether Miller, a major force in shaping the Trump administration’s controversial immigration policies, should step down. In response, 24 senators said he should ― all Democrats.
“On the long list of people that work in the Trump administration who we believe should not be there, Stephen Miller is at the top of that list,” Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) told HuffPost.
Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) said Miller has overseen some of President Donald Trump’s “most inhumane policies, including family separation (among undocumented immigrants). He pushes conspiracy theories to divide the American people and to distract from this administration’s failures. He should resign.”
Sen. Jacky Rosen (D-Nev.) said Miller has “used his role to impose his extreme views on policy,” especially on immigration issues.
And Sen. Tina Smith (D-Minn.) said Miller, who became a Trump loyalist during the 2016 campaign after serving on the staff of then-Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.), should “never have been near the White House to begin with.”
The 24 senators are among a growing coalition of lawmakers and civil rights organizations pushing for Miller’s ouster. On Thursday, 107 Democratic members of the House published an open letter to Trump demanding he fire Miller. Earlier this week, over 50 major civil rights groups — including the NAACP and the Human Rights Campaign — penned their own open letter to the White House with the same demand.
Eight organizations belonging to an initiative called Jews Against White Nationalism called on Miller to quit. “As your fellow American Jews,” the organizations wrote in a petition, “we will not rest until you resign.”
The mounting pressure is the result of a series of damning reports published by the Southern Poverty Law Center documenting how Miller, while working as Sessions’ aide, sent some 900 emails to editors of the far-right website Breitbart in 2015 and 2016.
While Mr. Miller’s bigoted policy views have long been known, we now have overwhelming evidence that he is a white nationalist."Sen. Tom Udall (D-N.M.)
The emails show Miller trying to shape Breitbart’s coverage of race and immigration by suggesting they parrot stories published on white supremacist websites. Miller suggests Breitbart editors write about Camp of Saints, a shockingly racist novel that depicts brown feces-eating people invading Europe. And he complains about the backlash over Confederate symbols after a Confederate-flag-loving white supremacist massacred nine black parishioners at a church in Charleston, South Carolina, in 2015.
SPLC reporter Michael Hayden said that in all of the emails, he was “unable to find any examples of Miller writing sympathetically or even in neutral tones about any person who is nonwhite or foreign-born.”
Of the 53 Republican senators contacted by HuffPost regarding Miller’s white nationalism, only one responded directly.
“I’m unfamiliar with the whole issue,” Sen. Kevin Cramer (R-N.D.) said. His office did not respond to subsequent HuffPost emails asking whether Cramer would bother to make himself familiar with how a white nationalist helps shape America’s immigration policy.
Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah), responding to a question from a HuffPost reporter in Washington, said he would like Miller to “more fully describe his involvement with that movement.”
“I know the president gets to choose who’s around him, but I don’t think that reflects as well as it might,” he said in the interview.
The White House did not respond to a HuffPost request for comment on this story.
Democrats calling for Miller’s departure include Sen. Mazie Hirono of Hawaii, who tweeted that the Miller emails “reinforce what we’ve known all along: that white nationalism permeates @realDonaldTrump’s administration. He should resign.”
In a statement to HuffPost, Sen. Tom Udall (D-N.M.) said that while Miller’s “bigoted policy views have long been known, we now have overwhelming evidence that he is a white nationalist.”
“For nearly three years, Mr. Miller has been driving the Trump administration’s agenda to exclude nonwhite immigrants from contributing to our country, with a particular animus against Hispanic immigrants that is especially offensive in my state of New Mexico,” Udall said.
He continued: “These new revelations remove any last pretense that the White House’s immigration policy decisions are being driven by anything other than discriminatory xenophobia. Mr. Miller should resign. If he does not and President Trump refuses to remove him, we can only conclude that the president agrees with Miller’s racist, bigoted views.”
Two Democratic senators, Chris Murphy of Connecticut and Catherine Cortez-Masto of Nevada, while not directly calling on Miller to resign said he should have already been gone or should never have gotten his job in the first place.
Cortez-Masto, a spokesman told HuffPost, thinks Trump should’ve fired Miller “for his racist policy proposals and white nationalist beliefs long ago.”
A spokesman for Murphy said that Miller is someone the senator “never believed should have been in this position of authority in the government, but this was not a Senate-confirmed position.”
“The policies Miller has advocated for — family separation, Muslim Ban, slashing the refugee limit, and the racist border wall — aren’t effective, make us less safe, and run contrary to American values, which is why the senator has opposed all both from a policy and moral perspective,” Murphy’s spokesman said.
Here’s the list of Democratic senators calling for Miller’s resignation so far:
Richard Blumenthal (Connecticut)
Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio)
Ben Cardin (Md.)
Chris Coons (Del.)
Dick Durbin (Ill.)
Martin Heinrich (N.M.)
Mazi Hirono (Hawaii)
Tim Kaine (Va.)
Amy Klobuchar (Minn.)
Ed Markey (Mass.)
Bob Menendez (N.J.)
Jeff Merkley (Ore.)
Patty Murray (Wash.)
Gary Peters (Mich.)
Jacky Rosen (Nev.)
Chuck Schumer (N.Y.)
Tina Smith (Minn.)
Debbie Stabenow (Mich.)
Tom Udall (N.M.)
Chris Van Hollen (Md.)
Mark Warner (Va.)
Elizabeth Warren (Mass.)
Sheldon Whitehouse (R.I.)
Ron Wyden (Ore.)