Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah) says he’d like to hear from controversial senior White House policy adviser Stephen Miller following the release of leaked emails that appear to show Miller promoting white nationalist ideas.
“I’d love to hear him 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,” Romney told HuffPost on Tuesday when asked about Miller.
Last week, the nonprofit civil rights advocacy group Southern Poverty Law Center published emails from 2015 in which Miller, an aide to then-Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) at the time, exchanged links promoting white nationalist theories with Katie McHugh, who was then working at the right-wing website Breitbart News.
McHugh was fired in 2017 after tweeting anti-Muslim attacks. She leaked her email correspondence with Miller in June 2019 and told SPLC that she was introduced to Miller in 2015 as someone who would influence her reporting.
The emails show Miller recommending that Breitbart write about “The Camp of the Saints,” a book linked to the far-right movement that portrays immigrants as dark-skinned, feces-eating invaders of white society. Miller also sent McHugh a link to Vdare, an anti-immigration website that peddles white identity politics and provides a platform for white nationalists.
In a statement to Axios, White House spokesperson Stephanie Grisham called the Southern Poverty Law Center “an utterly-discredited, long-debunked far-left smear organization,” but did not challenge or address the substance of the emails. An unnamed White House official, meanwhile, told The Daily Beast last week of Miller: “The president has his back.”
On Tuesday, SPLC published another collection of emails to show how Miller influenced Breitbart’s coverage of immigration and pushed criticism of Florida Sen. Marco Rubio’s immigration policies.
Miller is an immigration hard-liner. He is the architect of much of Trump’s immigration policy, including the administration’s family separation policy and the travel ban on people from some Muslim-majority countries.
A growing number of Democrats have called on Miller to resign following the release of the emails, including several 2020 presidential candidates and the leaders of the Black Congressional Progressive Caucus, Black Caucus, Hispanic Caucus and Asian Pacific American Caucus.