Monday, February 13, 2017

"Unusually combative" White House policy advisor Stephen Miller "gives me the creeps"

The White House policy advisor, Stephen Miller, made the Sunday morning talk-show rounds. His appearances were characterized as “unusually combative.” I listened to parts of his unhinged, factless rants and got so annoyed I quit and went to work on my Sunday blog post. Fortunately, the Washington Post published some of the transcript in Stephen Miller says White House will fight for travel ban, advances false voter fraud claims. Here are snippets.

The White House is pursuing several options to reinstate President Trump’s travel ban on all refugees and travelers from seven majority-Muslim nations, fighting back against what one top adviser on Sunday called “judicial usurpation of power.”

White House senior policy adviser Stephen Miller, the author of the controversial executive order, said the administration was weighing several legal options after the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled unanimously on Thursday against reinstating the travel ban, which had been blocked temporarily by a federal judge in Washington state.

Why are you coming in if you can’t answer the questions?

In unusually combative interviews on the Sunday morning television shows, Miller also refused to say whether Trump still has confidence in his national security adviser amid controversy over his communications with Russian officials. Miller also advanced false claims that widespread voter fraud undermined Trump’s performance in November’s election.

Miller’s exchanges with the Sunday show hosts were testy on other subjects as well. He punted when ABC anchor George Stephanopoulos asked him about The Washington Post’s report that Michael Flynn discussed the then-Obama administration’s sanctions against Russia in conversations with that country’s ambassador before Flynn was sworn in as White House national security adviser.

“I don’t have any news to make you today on this point,” Miller said, prompting Stephanopoulos to ask, “Then why are you coming in if you can’t answer the questions being posed about the White House?”

“Zero evidence” of voter fraud

Miller also repeated the false claim that Trump underperformed in the general election because of “massive voter fraud.” Miller provided no evidence to support his assertions in his ABC appearance — something Stephanopoulos pointed out to viewers.

Miller repeated claims Trump made privately to senators this past week that he narrowly lost the general election in New Hampshire because thousands of Massachusetts residents were bused into New Hampshire to vote illegally there.

“I can tell you that this issue of busing voters into New Hampshire is widely known by anyone who’s worked in New Hampshire politics,” Miller said. “It’s very real. It’s very serious.”

There is no known evidence of this happening.

Miller went on to say that there is “enormous evidence” of people being registered to vote in more than one state, of “dead people voting” and noncitizens being registered to vote.

“George, it is a fact — and you will not deny it — that there are massive numbers of noncitizens in this country who are registered to vote,” Miller said. “That is a scandal. We should stop the presses. And, as a country, we should be aghast about the fact that you have people who have no right to vote in this country registered to vote, canceling out the franchise of lawful citizens of this country.”

At that, Stephanopoulos intoned: “For the record, you have provided zero evidence that the president was the victim of massive voter fraud in New Hampshire. You provided zero evidence that the president’s claim that he would have won the popular vote if 3 million to 5 million illegal immigrants hadn’t voted — zero evidence for either one of those claims.”

Two differing views of Miller’s performance

Miller’s combative appearances pleased his boss, who apparently was watching from Mar-a-Lago, his private club in Palm Beach, Fla. Trump tweeted: “Congratulations Stephen Miller- on representing me this morning on the various Sunday morning shows. Great job!”

That is one more piece of evidence that the President of the United States, Donald J. Trump, has a problem with distinguishing reality from the voices he hears in his head.

Regarding Miller’s stoney demeanor and fact-free ranting, Mrs. Scriber will have the last word: “he gives me the creeps.”

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