President Donald Trump is considering senior policy adviser Stephen Miller to fill the role of White House communications director, sources told Axios.
Miller, known for his hardline nationalism, is a longtime Trump loyalist who most recently made headlines after holding a contentious press conference Wednesday as the Trump administration rolled out its new immigration policy.
Miller got into a heated exchange with CNN reporter Jim Acosta over the policy, which would slash legal immigration by 50% over 10 years, when Acosta asked Miller whether the administration was trying to “engineer the racial and ethnic flow of people into this country through this policy.”
Although Miller did not specifically address Acosta’s question, he accused the reporter of “cosmopolitan bias” and called Acosta’s questions “outrageous” and insulting.”
Miller has long been an immigration hardliner and was critical, when he worked as an aide to Jeff Sessions when he was a senator from Alabama, in rallying the opposition against the congressional bipartisan effort aimed at immigration reform.
Axios added that when he worked with Sessions, Miller effectively functioned as the congressional arm of Breitbart News, the staunchly pro-Trump outlet that has gained influence since Trump rose to power.
Miller is under consideration for a position that was most recently vacated by Wall Street financier Anthony Scaramucci, after Scaramucci gave an explosive interview to The New Yorker in which he referred to senior White House staff in vulgar terms.
Scaramucci was incensed that someone had leaked the details of a private dinner he had with Trump and several Fox News personalities, to New Yorker reporter Ryan Lizza, and he asked Lizza to reveal his source. When Lizza refused to do so, Scaramucci zeroed in on former White House chief of staff Reince Priebus, calling him “a f—— paranoid schizophrenic, a paranoiac.”
He also implied that White House chief strategist Steve Bannon was only interested in media attention, telling Lizza, “I’m not Steve Bannon, I’m not trying to suck my own c—.”
Scaramucci was ousted less than a week after his remarks.
Miller is not yet a favourite for the communications director role, sources told Axios, but he did gain favour with Bannon — who is also a nationalist and immigration hardliner — following his heated press conference earlier this week. The performance also likely resonated strongly with Trump, who is known to favour those who draw strong television ratings.