Stephen Miller reportedly undermined Kirstjen Nielsen by leaking embarrassing border statistics to a conservative-leaning publication

Win McNamee/Getty ImagesStephen Miller.
  • The White House senior adviser Stephen Miller leaked unflattering statistics about the US-Mexico border in an effort to denigrate former Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen, according to a Quartz report citing unnamed former agency officials.
  • Miller disclosed the increasing number of migrants claiming asylum and the number of border detentions to the Washington Examiner, a conservative-leaning news publication.
  • Miller did not respond to a request for comment.
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The White House senior adviser Stephen Miller leaked unflattering statistics on asylum seekers and detentions at the US-Mexico border in an effort to denigrate former Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen, according to a Quartz report citing unnamed former Homeland Security officials.

Miller reportedly disclosed the increasing number of migrants claiming asylum and the number of border detentions to the Washington Examiner, a conservative-leaning news publication, Quartz’s sources said, adding that he then printed the story and shared it with President Donald Trump.

Neither Miller nor the Department of Homeland Security responded to INSIDER’s request for comment on Tuesday.

Nielsen has been the face of Trump’s controversial immigration policies, while Miller has worked on the sidelines as the president’s hardline immigration adviser. Former Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced a “zero-tolerance” immigration policy in April 2018 that spurred detentions and family separations at the US-Mexico border.

Nielsen and Miller are believed to have been at odds in regard to the president’s desires concerning immigration policy.


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After a meeting with Trump on Sunday, Nielsen announced it was “the right time for me to step aside” and offered her resignation. She did not intend to resign before the meeting, senior White House officials told The Washington Post.

Sensitive leaks from within the Trump administration have been described as “out of control,” according to a New York Times report on the book “Team of Vipers,” which casts Trump’s inner circle as self-interested and duplicitous.

Trump has continued to raise his voice about what he views as a crisis at the US-Mexico border. The president recently threatened to close the border completely, sparking legal challenges and economic concerns. Trump later backed down from that threat.

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