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SPLC: Leaked Emails Expose Key White House Aide Stephen Miller’s Affinity for White Nationalism

Hatewatch reviewed more than 900 emails between Miller and Breitbart editors

ATLANTA – A series of previously unreleased emails obtained by the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) reveal that in the runup to the 2016 election, current White House Senior Adviser Stephen Miller regularly promoted white nationalist literature and racist propaganda to editors at Breitbart News as he shaped the far-right website’s coverage of issues related to immigrants.

On its Hatewatch blog, the SPLC today released the first in a series of reports analyzing the content of some 900 emails exchanged between Miller and Breitbart editors from March 4, 2015, to June 27, 2016.

Miller is known as the architect of President Trump’s most extreme immigration policies, including the family separation policy and the executive order that essentially bans immigration from some majority-Muslim countries. 

The emails – provided to the SPLC by former Breitbart editor Katie McHugh – illustrate the degree to which white nationalist ideology and Miller’s apparent fixation with eliminating immigration by people of color has shaped policy in Trump’s White House. Most of the emails were sent in 2015 while Miller worked as a close aide to Alabama Senator Jeff Sessions. He continued sending them after he joined the Trump campaign in January 2016.
 
“Americans should be terrified by the casual way that Stephen Miller, who has enormous influence in the White House, shares racist content and speaks the language of white nationalists in emails to people he apparently considered fellow travelers,” said Michael Edison Hayden, senior investigative reporter for Hatewatch. “It’s clear that he believes people of color are a danger to our country and should not be allowed in.”

Among the revelations in the emails:

  • Miller shared articles from the white nationalist website VDARE, which traffics in the “white genocide” or “great replacement” myth that people of color are systematically replacing white people. It’s a racist doctrine that has incited numerous white supremacist terror attacks, including the mass murder of 51 people in Christchurch, New Zealand, and the attack that killed 22 people in El Paso in August.
  • Miller recommended that Breitbart write about The Camp of the Saints, an apocalyptic, violent and intensely racist novel popular among white nationalists and neo-Nazis in the United States. The book, written by a French author, depicts a Europe overrun by millions of brown-skinned migrants. Following the email, Breitbart published an article called ‘Camp of the Saints’ Seen Mirrored in Pope’s Message.
  • Miller sought to create a counternarrative after Amazon.com and other retailers began halting the sales of Confederate-themed merchandise following the Charleston church massacre in 2015. In one email, Miller appears to reference a previous phone conversation with McHugh, writing: “That’s a really, really, really good point. Have you thought about going to Amazon and finding the commie flags and then doing a story on that? I think you’ve hit on something potentially profound.”
  • Miller repeatedly referred to President Calvin Coolidge, who signed the Immigration Act of 1924, a law based on eugenics that limited entry into the United States mostly to migrants from Northern Europe, barred immigrants from Asia and targeted “dysgenic” Italians and Eastern European Jews. The law was praised by Adolf Hitler as a potential model for Nazi Germany. Coolidge is lionized by white nationalists, in part for his comments condemning race mixing. 

More than 80 percent of the emails reviewed by Hatewatch relate to or appear on threads discussing race or immigration. 

“The hundreds of emails Stephen Miller sent to just one member of the media – and there are more – clearly illustrate his beliefs, which until now have not been made explicit and known to the American people,” McHugh said.

McHugh was a Breitbart editor from April 2014 to June 2017. She was active in the anti-immigrant movement and was fired from Breitbart in 2017 for anti-Muslim tweets. Since then, she has renounced the far right and told Hatewatch that she believes the movement to be “evil.”

The first installment of the Hatewatch series can be read at: https://www.splcenter.org/hatewatch/2019/11/12/stephen-millers-affinity-white-nationalism-revealed-leaked-emails.