Trump White House senior adviser Stephen Miller, as The Washington Post reported in August, “rarely puts anything in writing, eschewing email in favor of phone calls.” Despite making extensive anti-immigration comments in high school, and being, as the Guardian pointed out in 2017, “the architect of the first travel ban,” there has been little written evidence of Miller’s white nationalist views, aside from college newspaper columns and emails to reporters while an aide to then-Sen. Jeff Sessions. Until now.

Hatewatch, a web publication from the Southern Poverty Law Center, obtained 900 leaked emails, which Miller sent to the right-wing website in 2015 and 2016, while he worked for Sessions. Hatewatch’s Michael Edison Hayden explains:

In the run-up to the 2016 election, White House senior policy adviser Stephen Miller promoted white nationalist literature, pushed racist immigration stories and obsessed over the loss of Confederate symbols after Dylann Roof’s murderous rampage. [The emails] showcase the extremist, anti-immigrant ideology that undergirds the policies he has helped create as an architect of Donald Trump’s presidency.

Those policies, Hayden continues, include “reportedly setting arrest quotas for undocumented immigrants, an executive order effectively banning immigration from five Muslim-majority countries and a policy of family separation at refugee resettlement facilities.”

The emails were leaked to Hatewatch by Katie McHugh, a former Breitbart editor who was fired from the site in 2017 for posting anti-Muslim tweets. McHugh has since said she has denounced the far right. McHugh told Hatewatch she was introduced to Miller with the understanding that his ideas would shape her work at Breitbart.

The contents of the emails range from sharing links from white nationalist website VDARE and conspiracy theory site Infowars and anger over Amazon and other sites removing products with the Confederate flag after white nationalist Roof shot nine black people in a Charleston, S.C., church, to recommending that McHugh read “Camp of the Saints,” which Hayden describes as “popular among white nationalists and neo-Nazis because of the degree to which it fictionalizes the ‘white genocide’ or ‘great replacement’ myth into a violent and sexualized story about refugees.”

Miller references the book in the following email chain:

McHugh, Sept. 6, 2015, 3:34 p.m. ET: “[Breitbart editor] Neil [Munro], Julia [Hahn] and I are going to do a series of stories on [nonwhite SAT scores] to break it down. Neil says it’s easier for people to digest that way and change their minds.”

Miller, Sept. 6, 2015, 3:41 p.m. ET: “On the education angle? Makes sense. Also, you see the Pope saying west must, in effect, get rid of borders. Someone should point out the parallels to Camp of the Saints.”

In another thread, Miller backs policies favored by President Calvin Coolidge, who wanted to ban all immigration, in an email with Breitbart’s McHugh, Hahn, and fellow Sessions aide Garrett Murch:

Murch, Aug. 4, 2015, 6:22 p.m. ET: “[Show host] Mark Levin just said there should be no immigration for several years. Not just cut the number down from the current 1 million green cards per year. For assimilation purposes.”

Miller, Aug. 4, 2015, 6:23 p.m. ET: “Like Coolidge did. Kellyanne Conway poll says that is exactly what most Americans want after 40 years of non-stop record arrivals.”

Those examples are only a small snapshot of the comments leaked to Hatewatch, and of the depth of Miller’s beliefs. It’s been shown he’s held these anti-immigrant and anti-minority views at least since high school. In 2018, Los Angeles Magazine interviewed 20 former classmates of Miller from Santa Monica High School. Kesha Ram, a former Vermont State Legislature member also from the class of 2003 explained Miller like this:

Some people hide behind a computer screen and say horrible things about other cultures and other identities, but he looked people in the eye and said, ‘I don’t think you should be in this country; I think your family should go back to wherever they came from or speak English more fluently.’

Hatewatch’s report, however, is remarkable for the sheer volume of evidence, and for how recently Miller was espousing these views. His comments from high school and college may be extremely hurtful, but they take on a new, more tangible power coming from someone who, at the time of the emails, was an aide to a senator, soon to be a senior adviser to President Donald Trump. He has the ear of a president who himself was elected on a campaign of anti-immigrant hate, and the ability to influence him.

Read Hatewatch’s full story here.

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