White House aide Stephen Miller on Wednesday clashed with CNN's Jim Acosta over the White House's new preferred immigration policy, at one point lambasting the reporter as a "cosmopolitan."
The exchange was among several contentious moments at the White House briefing, where Miller touted a bill reducing legal immigration that President Trump helped roll out Wednesday morning.
Miller and Acosta butted heads over the legislation. Acosta, who said his father immigrated from Cuba before the Cuban Missile Crisis, questioned whether the White House's policy is in keeping with American tradition.
"You are sort of bringing a 'press 1 for English' philosophy here to immigration and that's never been what the United States has been about," Acosta said. "Are we just going to bring in people from Great Britain and Australia?"
Miller pounced at that point.
"I can honestly say: I am shocked at your statement that you think only people from Great Britain and Australia would know English. It reveals your cosmopolitan bias to a shocking degree — this is an amazing moment," he said, speaking over Acosta as the reporter tried to interject.
"That you think only people from Great Britain or Australia would speak English is so insulting to millions of hardworking immigrants who speak English from all over the world. Jim, have you honestly never met an immigrant from another country from another country who speaks English outside of Great Britain and Australia?"
Acosta responded by accusing the administration of trying to "engineer the racial and ethnic flow of people into this country through this policy," an accusation Miller blasted as "one of the most outrageous, insulting, ignorant and foolish things you've ever said."
Reporters like MSNBC's Andrea Mitchell jumped to Acosta's defense after the briefing. Mitchell tweeted that Miller had been "rude" to Acosta.
Earlier in the briefing, Miller sparred with a reporter from The New York Times, Glenn Thrush, who challenged him to cite studies proving his argument that immigrants lower wages.
Thrush asked Miller to cite "specific numbers that prove the correlation between those two things because your entire policy is based on that.”
Miller ticked through several studies he said backed up the administration’s claims, adding that they were also supported by “common sense.”
“I’m not asking for common sense,” Thrush responded. “I’m asking for specific statistical data.”
“I think it's pretty clear, Glenn, that you're not asking for common sense,” Miller shot back.
At one point Miller suggested The New York Times could hire "less-skilled, low-paid workers from other countries" if the media outlet disagrees with the administration's new immigration policy.
"See how you feel about it then,” he said.
- This story was updated at 4:30 p.m.