As the Trump administration looks to defend the emergency declaration made by the president over the weekend, it should look no further for its front man than Stephen Miller, a senior adviser to the president. Miller has a wealth of experience as a communications director and press secretary on the Hill. He has also been a loyalist to the Trump agenda from the beginning, and has been its most enduring and effective advocate. Miller once again showed why he needs to be featured more often on Chris Wallace’s Fox News Sunday.
In a passionate and calculated defense of the president’s decision, Miller went further than other surrogates are willing to go. Not only did he defend the national emergency on the merits, he criticized the George W. Bush administration for not addressing the issue. Wallace argued that there was no emergency because more illegal crossings took place during the Bush years. Miller put the conservative establishment in its place, calling the lack of action from Bush an “astonishing betrayal.” Just because Bush and others didn’t address the emergency does not mean there isn’t one, Miller argued.
Where Miller really separates himself from the milquetoast Trump advocates is in providing a philosophical foundation to the administration’s policies. Trump is notoriously non-ideological and acts almost purely on instinct. Miller is an excellent compliment to Trump’s style, because he can give more nuanced underpinnings to the policies. Miller talked about the existential nature of border security and the essence of a nation:
“You cannot conceive of a nation without a strong, secure border. It is fundamental and essential to the idea of sovereignty and national survival to have control over who enters and doesn’t enter the country.”
No one else defending Trump uses the language of national survival, yet that is exactly what this is all about. Miller makes that abundantly clear with his detailed discussion of the true nature of the crisis. He called out international anarcho-terrorist organizations, activist judges, transnational organizations and smugglers, cartels, and NGOs all by name, while decrying the loopholes in American immigration law that allow them to operate with impunity.
Miller did an excellent job pointing out the hypocrisy of the critics of the emergency declaration. He pointed out that the NEA has been used 59 times without any issue, including to “promote democracy” in Belarus and Zimbabwe. Miller claimed that critics would have no issue with the NEA being used to fortify barriers at American military bases overseas. It is only when the NEA is being used to defend America’s borders that it became a problem.
Miller closed his argument with a powerful line: “If the president can’t defend this country then he cannot fulfill his constitutional oath of office.”
The president needs to defend the country, and he needs Stephen Miller out there defending him. For the rest of Trump’s presidency, Miller should be front and center on immigration.