Top immigration aide experienced 'jolt of electricity to my soul' when Trump announced campaign

Stephen MillerStephen MillerDozens of civil rights groups call on Trump to fire Stephen Miller Press: Ukraine's not the only outrage The Hill's Morning Report - Week two of public impeachment testimony MORE, an architect of many of the White House’s harshest immigration policies, said in a new interview that he felt a “jolt of electricity to my soul” when President TrumpDonald John TrumpMost Americans break with Trump on Ukraine, but just 45 percent think he should be removed: poll Judge orders Democrats to give notice if they request Trump's NY tax returns Trump's doctor issues letter addressing 'speculation' about visit to Walter Reed MORE announced his candidacy.

Miller told The Washington Post that he felt “as though everything that I felt at the deepest levels of my heart were for now being expressed by a candidate for our nation’s highest office before a watching world” upon watching Trump's announcement.


Senior White House officials told the Post that Miller’s function within the administration frequently has been to develop more detailed policy based on Trump’s more visceral, instinctive attitudes about immigrants. They specifically cited the expanded “public charge” proposal, which would limit green cards for legal immigrants receiving public aid.

"Does the president believe that poor immigrants who can’t support themselves should live off the public dole? No,” one official told the newspaper. “Did he have any idea what the public charge rule was before Miller? No.”  

Some former administration officials told the Post, however, that Miller’s attempts at overhauling immigration policy have been unsuccessful, citing an influx of migrants crossing the border and numerous court decisions against the White House.

The Post also quotes senior White House officials who say Miller has derided Jared KushnerJared Corey KushnerPompeo announces Israeli settlements do not violate international law Trump to tour Apple factory with Tim Cook on Wednesday Resistance or unhinged behavior? Partisan hatred reaches Trump's family MORE’s more moderate immigration positions as well as Trump's son-in-law's knowledge of the issue, which Miller called “utterly malicious fabrications.”

One former Department of Homeland Security (DHS) official suggested Miller was motivated by racism, telling the Post: “I don’t know what other principle could animate such a laserlike focus.”

Miller responded that anyone who described him as racist was “an ignorant fool, a liar and a reprobate who has no place in civilized society.”

Miller has reportedly regularly gone past DHS leadership to give lower-level officials direct orders, which former DHS head John KellyJohn Francis KellyMORE ordered him to stop but which he resumed under Kelly’s successor, Kirstjen NielsenKirstjen Michele NielsenWhite House backs Stephen Miller amid white nationalist allegations Top House Democrats ask for review of DHS appointments Chad Wolf becomes acting DHS secretary MORE.

“He’s always micromanaging everything we do, or trying to, without really knowing or appreciating the operational challenges,” a DHS official told the Post.