A coalition of mostly progressive groups are demanding that White House senior adviser Stephen Miller be removed from his position following the release of emails where he showed white nationalist leanings.
Earlier this month, the Southern Poverty Law Center blog Hatewatch reported on some 900 emails given to them by former Breitbart writer Katie McHugh showing Miller championing white nationalist ideology.
SPLC is releasing the emails by piecemeal rather than all at once, with a new batch with analysis being posted on the liberal group's website on Tuesday.
According to the emails that McHugh forwarded to the SPLC, Miller attempted to influence the editorial direction of Breitbart between 2015 and 2016.
“White House senior policy adviser Stephen Miller promoted white nationalist literature, pushed racist immigration stories and obsessed over the loss of Confederate symbols after Dylann Roof’s murderous rampage,” wrote Michael Hayden of the SPLC.
“Miller does not converse along a wide range of topics in the emails. His focus is strikingly narrow – more than 80 percent of the emails Hatewatch reviewed relate to or appear on threads relating to the subjects of race or immigration.”
For example, in one email, Miller asked Breitbart to promote a racist 1973 French novel titled The Camp of the Saints and encouraged the conservative publication to aggregate stories from white nationalist sites like American Renaissance and VDARE.
Another email by Miller encouraged Breitbart writers who report on the refugee debate to include a list of foreign-born terrorists that he forwarded them.
An open letter to President Donald Trump that was posted online by The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights on Monday called for the removal of Miller.
“Supporters of white supremacists and neo-Nazis should not be allowed to serve at any level of government, let alone in the White House,” read the letter in part.
“Miller has stoked bigotry, hate, and division with his extreme political rhetoric and policies throughout his career. The recent exposure of his deep-seated racism provides further proof that he is unfit to serve and should immediately leave his post.”
The open letter also called on Trump to “halt your own hateful actions and rhetoric and remove all hate enthusiasts from the administration.”
“Unless and until you fire Stephen Miller — and all who promulgate bigotry — and abandon your administration’s anti-civil rights agenda, you will continue to be responsible for the violence fueled by that hate,” concluded the letter.
Organizations that signed on to the letter include African American Ministers In Action, American Atheists, the Anti-Defamation League, Council on American-Islamic Relations, Equality California, Hindu American Foundation, Human Rights Campaign, the NAACP, National Organization for Women, People for the American Way, the SPLC, and the Union for Reform Judaism, among others.
In response to the SPLC report, White House spokesperson Hogan Gidley told NBC News that Miller is not racist and suggested his critics are attacking him because he is Jewish.
"Mr. Miller condemns racism and bigotry in all forms, but what deeply concerns me is how so many on the left are allowed to spread vile anti-Semitism and consistently attack proud Jewish members of this administration," stated Gidley, as reported by NBC News.
Miller is credited with being the architect of the strict measures that the president has pursued against undocumented immigrants and refugees.
In June 2018, Miller told The New York Times that he convinced Trump to enact the widely-criticized family separation policy, which involved taking undocumented immigrant children from their families.
"It was a simple decision by the administration to have a zero tolerance policy for illegal entry, period. The message is that no one is exempt from immigration law," stated Miller at the time.
A former writer and editor at Breitbart, McHugh was eventually fired by Breitbart in 2017 for posting anti-Muslim statements on Twitter.
In an interview with Rosie Gray of BuzzFeed News that was published in May, McHugh explained that she has since renounced her past far-right views.
“I take responsibility for all my actions,” McHugh told BuzzFeed. “Everything I said that was terrible was my fault.”
“There is forgiveness, there is redemption. You have to own up to what you did and then forcefully reject this and explain to people and tell your story and say, ‘Get out while you can.’”
For its part, in recent years the SPLC has garnered controversy on various matters, including allegations of unfairly designating several conservative groups as hateful and leadership having engaged in racial discrimination within its own ranks.