Sep 29, 2019 - Politics & Policy

Without evidence, Stephen Miller claims whistleblower is a "deep-state operative"

White House senior adviser Stephen Miller claimed on "Fox News Sunday" that the whistleblower who filed a complaint about President Trump's interactions with Ukraine is a "deep state operative" who does not deserve to be honored for forwarding a "partisan hit job."

MILLER: "I think it's unfortunate that the media continues to describe this individual as a whistleblower, an honorific that this individual most certainly does not deserve. A partisan hit job does not make you a whistleblower just because you go through the Whistleblower Protection Act."
CHRIS WALLACE: "On what basis do you say this was a partisan hit job?"
MILLER: "First of all, if you read the 7-page little Nancy Drew novel that the whistleblower put together, it drips with condescension, righteous indignation and contempt for the president. It's also ludicrous on its face."

Reality check: Miller has no evidence of who the whistleblower is. He also cited the intelligence community inspector general's finding that the whistleblower displayed "arguable political bias," but dismissed the IG's assessment that the complaint was "credible" — which has also been backed up by acting Director of National Intelligence Joseph Maguire.

The big picture: Miller's attacks on the whistleblower represent the extreme end of the arguments that Trump's defenders have deployed in the days since the complaint was released.

  • Many of the president's allies have attacked the whistleblower's motives, claimed that Democrats want to overturn the results of the 2016 election via impeachment, and sought to pivot the narrative toward investigating baseless allegations of corruption in Ukraine by Joe Biden.
  • Trump himself suggested at a private event on Thursday that the whistleblower is "almost a spy," adding that we used to handle "spies and treason ... a little differently than we do now."

Go deeper: 4 takeaways from the Trump-Ukraine whistleblower complaint

Go deeper