Stephen Miller takes command: Trump’s shadow chief of staff wields his dark magic

Repulsive toady genius has quietly maximized power in the White House, in pursuit of a white nationalist agenda

By Amanda Marcotte | Salon Magazine | April 8, 2019

In the end, Kirstjen Nielsen was not racist enough for Donald Trump’s administration. That’s nearly unfathomable, since Nielsen, in her role as head of the Department of Homeland Security, was behind the shockingly cruel “family separation” policy of trying to punish and discourage legal asylum-seekers by taking their children away from them.

Nielsen was also responsible for the sprawling internment camps to hold refugees and the “metering”  system and “remain in Mexico” policies meant to make life hell for people seeking legal asylum. But none of it was enough for Trump, who clearly wants an even more aggressive approach to white-ifying the United States and demanded Nielsen’s resignation over the weekend.

Close watchers of the White House immediately saw senior adviser Stephen Miller all over this forced resignation. Sure enough, Politico reported on this late Sunday night, writing that while it “was not immediately clear whether Miller played a role in the departure of Nielsen,” he has mounted a pressure campaign to remove anyone he views as insufficiently hostile to nonwhite immigration.

Trump’s official chief of staff, for now, is far-right firebrand Mick Mulvaney. But Nielsen’s ouster serves as a reminder that Miller functions as a shadow chief of staff in the Trump administration, and is instrumental in keeping Trump focused on Miller’s own obsession with what can only be called a politics of white nationalism.

Miller has retreated from the public eye in recent months, seemingly aware that his vampiric affect repulses people to the point where he reduces support for his own ideas simply by showing up on TV to talk about them. But as Trump’s main speechwriter and a key White House adviser, Miller has clearly pushed Trump toward ever more fascistic rhetoric and has likely encouraged Trump’s belief that he can and should break the law, if that’s what is required to score “victories” in the immigration battle.