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

Stephen MillerStephen MillerConservatives slam Warren's call to put transgender women in women's prisons Immigrants are an economic boon to America Giuliani's unofficial role allowed him to avoid White House disclosure rules: report 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 TrumpKaine: Obama called Trump a 'fascist' during 2016 campaign Kaine: GOP senators should 'at least' treat Trump trial with seriousness of traffic court Louise Linton, wife of Mnuchin, deletes Instagram post in support of Greta Thunberg 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 KushnerHillicon Valley — Presented by Philip Morris International — Wyden asks NSA to investigate White House cybersecurity | Commerce withdraws Huawei rule after Pentagon objects | Warren calls on Brazil to drop Greenwald charges Wyden calls on NSA to examine White House cybersecurity following Bezos hack The Hill's Morning Report — Dems detail case to remove Trump for abuse of power 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 NielsenActing DHS secretary says he expects Russia to attempt to interfere in 2020 elections House Homeland Security rip DHS's 'unacceptable' failure to comply with subpoena Trump puts Kushner in charge of overseeing border wall construction: report 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.