Nov 13, 2019 - Politics & Policy

What they're saying: Dems demand Miller resign over leaked emails

White House senior policy adviser Stephen Miller poses for a photo

White House senior policy adviser Stephen Miller. Photo: Brendan Smialowsk/AFP/Getty Images

After leaked emails indicated White House senior adviser Stephen Miller shared white nationalist content to Breitbart, leading Democrats are calling for him to resign, including Rep. Alexandria Ocasion-Cortez (N.Y.) — who's started a petition.

Why it matters: Per Axios' Rashaan Ayesh, Miller plays a role in shaping the Trump administration's immigration policy, and the leak to Hatewatch, a branch of nonprofit the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), shows over 80% of some 900-plus emails Miller sent to former Breitbart editor Katie McHugh related to race or immigration in some manner.

What they're saying:

  • Presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders tweeted, "Stephen Miller's white nationalist views are a danger to the American people. We are going to defeat this hateful administration and everything it stands for."
  • 2020 candidate Julián Castro tweeted, "Donald Trump put a Neo-Nazi in charge of immigration policy. Both him, and Stephen Miller, are a shame to our nation."
  • Rep. Ilhan Omar (Minn.) tweeted, "As I said earlier this year: Stephen Miller is a white nationalist. And now we have the emails to prove it. This type of racism and hatred has no place in our government. Miller needs to step down. Now."
  • Rep. Earl Blumenauer (Oregon) tweeted, "Stephen Miller should never have been hired and should be fired immediately."

The other side: Breitbart spokesperson Elizabeth Moore said in a statement, "The SPLC claims to have three- to four-year-old emails, many previously reported on, involving an individual whom we fired years ago for a multitude of reasons, and you now have an even better idea why we fired her."

"Having said that, it is not exactly a newsflash that political staffers pitch stories to journalists — sometimes those pitches are successful, sometimes not."
  • White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham called the SPLC in a statement "an utterly-discredited, long-debunked far-left smear organization that has recently been forced — to its great humiliation — to issue a major retraction for other wholly-fabricated accusations." 
"They libel, slander, and defame conservatives for a living. They are beneath public discussion."

Context: The SPLC, which focuses on legal advocacy and civil rights, is known for tracking hate groups. But it's been criticized by some who find its classifications are overbroad or politically motivated.

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