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

Stephen MillerStephen MillerShelby backs ex-aide over Trump-favored candidate in Alabama Senate race Pro-Trump group presses Biden officials for records on critical race theory The Memo: Biden feels the heat from all sides on immigration 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 TrumpGuardian Angels founder Curtis Sliwa wins GOP primary in NYC mayor's race Garland dismisses broad review of politicization of DOJ under Trump Schumer vows next steps after 'ridiculous,' 'awful' GOP election bill filibuster 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 KushnerTrump discussed sending infected Americans to Guantanamo Bay: book NYC voters set to decide Vance's replacement amid Trump probe Kushner lands book deal, slated for release in 2022 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 NielsenLeft-leaning group to track which companies hire former top Trump aides Rosenstein: Zero tolerance immigration policy 'never should have been proposed or implemented' House Republican condemns anti-Trump celebrities during impeachment hearing 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.