A Republican congressman explains why he's going to war with top White House adviser Stephen Miller

  • Republican Rep. Mike Coffman says the Trump administration is “heading in the wrong direction” as long as the White House aide Stephen Miller is advising President Donald Trump.
  • Coffman has called on Trump to fire Miller.

WASHINGTON – Republican Rep. Mike Coffman says the Trump administration is “heading in the wrong direction” over the ongoing immigration disputes and controversies on the US-Mexico border.

For Coffman, the only solution is for President Donald Trump to fire Stephen Miller, a senior adviser on immigration policy in the White House.

In an interview with Business Insider in the Colorado Republican’s Capitol Hill office on Friday, Coffman expressed frustration with the White House’s approach to the crisis at the border.

As Coffman put it, long before the Trump administration began implementing the zero-tolerance policy that led to family separations and the displacement of thousands of migrant and asylum-seeking children, the White House could have approached Congress and asked for a legislative fix to the law some administration officials have cited as a reason for the policy.

“That could have been done very quickly in the Congress,” Coffman said. “I don’t think anybody would have opposed that on either party. But they didn’t do that. And I just think that Stephen Miller is completely tone deaf when it comes to reforming our immigration system.”

Coffman, who had worked on an immigration bill dubbed the “compromise” bill between moderates and Republican leaders, was less optimistic about the path forward as long as Miller had the president’s ear.

“You will not get anything done,” he said. “It will never pass the Congress without some element of compromise. And I just don’t think Stephen Miller – having met him and had the opportunity to talk to him once – is capable of advising the president how to navigate that terrain.”

Coffman doesn’t like the path he sees the Trump administration taking, a path he credits Miller as leading it down.

“I think the administration is headed in the wrong direction,” he said. “And I think as long as he’s there, that direction will continue.”

“The time is now, but with Stephen Miller there I believe the door will continue to be closed,” Coffman added. “He is Steve Bannon. I mean he’s a Steve Bannon prototype. His ideas are virtually the same as Steve Bannon when it comes to immigration. And this White House, for the good of the country, to achieve their own goals, I think has to change course.”

A representative for the White House was not immediately available for comment.

NOW WATCH: Briefing videos

Business Insider Emails & Alerts

Site highlights each day to your inbox.

Follow Business Insider Australia on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram.