In an interview with ABC News, White House Senior Adviser Stephen Miller pushed back against the media’s false narratives about President Donald Trump and said Trump “is the best public orator since William Jennings Bryan” and “has a better sense of the pulse of the people” than any president since populist hero Andrew Jackson.
Miller spoke with ABC News’ Jonathan Karl and Rick Klein on their “Powerhouse Politics” podcast on Thursday.
Asked about the seemingly “dizzying pace” of Trump’s first two weeks in office, Miller made it clear that Trump is merely fulfilling his campaign promises.
“What you’ve been seeing,” said Miller, “is President Trump is governing based on the promises he made to the American people during his campaign, and I think that that’s one of the things that the American people find most refreshing and most heartening. He campaigned on building a border wall, he campaigned on getting tough on trade, he campaigned on getting tough on refugees, he campaigned on defending America’s interests in dealing with foreign nations. These are all things he campaigned on and really cross party lines.”
Miller also emphasized that it’s Trump’s worldview, developed over the last 30 years, that’s now steering the ship of state within the White House.
“The worldview that the President of the United States has been espousing, he’s been espousing for 30 years,” Miller said. “You can go back and watch interviews of him in the 1980s talking about the emerging economic turmoil that would be caused by Japan’s product dumping and currency cheating. You can see him talking about threats of terrorism before many people around the country were. You can see him talking about China, talking about NAFTA. It’s really remarkable the extent to which he presaged almost everything that’s relevant and pressing in our politics today over the course of three decades in public life.”
Asked “what’s been the high-point and the low-point” of the past two weeks, Miller rejected the “low-point” characterization, saying, “There hasn’t been a low-point.”
Miller addressed the media-driven controversy surrounding Trump’s executive order temporarily suspending the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program for 120 days while the refugee vetting process is being reviewed.
“For folks in the media centered in New York City, Los Angeles, Washington D.C., the idea of having a curtailment of migration from some of the most dangerous regions in the Middle East strikes them as an enormously disruptive event,” Miller said. “But for the rest of the country who are worried about their jobs, who are worried about their schools, who are worried about their ability to get a pay raise, who are worried about their ability to be safe and to have a country that supports them — for them, those kinds of actions are just the first steps in bringing some kind of sanity to how we approach immigration policy in the United States of America.”
He continued, “So the divergence of perspectives in terms of how people who reap the benefits of globalization look at things, versus people for whom it hasn’t been an unalloyed benefit — I think that divergence explains a lot of the difference between the polling data which shows the enormous popularity of his actions and the response you’ll see on certain television networks and some newspapers where they’re, I guess, not happy that things aren’t continuing on in the future as they always have in the past.”
Miller also strongly condemned the media’s efforts to inflate the role of White House advisors. Said Miller, “I can state this to you categorically … the only person who makes decisions here is Donald Trump. The only person whose vision is executed is Donald Trump. The only person who is guiding the strategy of this White House is Donald Trump. It’s his vision, his policies, his insights. Like I said, he’s been laying out this roadmap for thirty years.”
“Donald Trump comes up with the policy,” Miller continued. “He comes up with the words, he comes up with the vision. He is America First to his core. That’s who Donald Trump is. That’s who he’s always been.”
Miller placed Trump in the tradition of America’s great populist leaders, comparing him to the nineteenth century firebrand William Jennings Bryan and to the nation’s first populist president Andrew Jackson.
“I’d say [Trump] is the best public orator since William Jennings Bryan, and he has a better sense of the pulse of the people than any President at least since Andrew Jackson.”
The media, Miller said, “has constantly both gotten [Trump] wrong, underestimated him, failed to give him his due credit, but what he has accomplished and what he has proven is that he understands and sees in this country and has a vision that has eluded the people that the media held up as the most brilliant consultants, and pollsters, and strategists. And he outsmarted them all. And I just hope the media will give the President the credit he really deserves.”