More than 100 Democrats in Congress on Thursday signed a letter calling on President Donald Trump to "immediately remove" senior White House adviser Stephen Miller, whom they described as an "avid white nationalist" and "conspiracy theorist."
The move came after the Southern Poverty Law Center published summaries of more than 900 emails that Miller sent to far-right website Breitbart News when he worked as an aide to then-Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Ala., in 2015 and 2016 prior to working in the White House.
In the emails, Miller recommends the notoriously racist French novel "Camp of the Saints," which is popular among neo-Nazis and depicts paints a dystopia of immigrants invading France and overthrowing Western society. He also promotes immigration policies praised by Adolf Hitler and floats conspiracy theories about immigration.
In a letter to the president, Democratic lawmakers argued that Miller "brought his support of white supremacist ideology and literature, xenophobic conspiracy theories, as well as his promotion of white supremacist websites" to the White House.
They claimed Miller's anti-immigration attitude and white supremacist fervor has revealed itself in many policy decisions, including a travel ban on citizens of several Muslim-majority countries, the decrease in refugee admissions and the decision to end Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals.
"These are just a few obvious examples of Mr. Miller's white supremacist influence on your immigration policy, and it seems likely that his perfidious adherence to extremist ideology has shaped your administration in ways that are not yet public," the lawmakers wrote. "Given Mr. Miller’s role in shaping immigration policy for your administration, his documented dedication to extremist, anti-immigrant ideology and conspiracy-mongering is disqualifying," the lawmakers wrote in a letter to the president.
Democratic Reps. Don Beyer of Virginia, Barbara Lee of California, Ilhan Omar of Minnesota and Bill Pascrell of New Jersey are among those who led the effort to send the letter to the White House. Other Democrats who signed it include Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Eliot Engel of New York, Rashida Tlaib of Michigan, Jamie Raskin of Maryland and Sheila Jackson Lee of Texas.
The emails released by the Southern Poverty Law Center show that Miller was regularly in contact with editors at Breitbart in the months leading up to the 2016 election. In the emails, he shares links to articles from VDARE and American Renaissance, two white nationalist websites, as well as Infowars, a conspiracy theory repository.
He urged editors to play up crimes committed by nonwhites and sought to "create a counter-narrative" about the decision by Amazon and other retailers to stop selling the Confederate flag after a white nationalist murdered nine black churchgoers in Charleston, South Carolina, in 2015.
In one exchange from August 2015, Miller expresses concern to a then-editor at Breitbart that Mexicans affected by Hurricane Patricia could be granted temporary protected status, or TPS.
"That needs to be the weekend's BIG story," Miller wrote to McHugh. "TPS is everything."
The White House has offered support for Miller as the SPLC has released additional emails. White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham told The Washington Post that while she had not seen the report, the SPLC, a respected civil rights nonprofit, was an "utterly-discredited, long-debunked far-left smear organization."
White House deputy press secretary Hogan Gidley defended Miller in a statement last week, arguing that Miller (who is Jewish) was actually the victim of "anti-Semitism" and a left-wing smear campaign.
"I work with Stephen. I know Stephen. He loves this country and hates bigotry in all forms — and it deeply concerns me as to why so many on the left consistently attack Jewish members of this Administration," Gidley said.
Notably, after the publication of the emails, Jewish groups joined a coalition of national civil rights organizations in demanding that Trump remove Miller as his senior policy adviser.