Senior White House adviser Stephen Miller has never been shy about expressing his unreserved adoration for President Trump, which is one reason he’s among the most powerful people in America.
On Sunday, he appeared on CNN’s State of the Union with Jake Tapper to defend his boss amid the furor surrounding Michael Wolff’s explosive new book. The results were predictably weird.
Dodging specific questions about whether Trump met with Russians at Trump Tower, the heavy-lidded immigration hawk savaged Steve Bannon, one of the author’s central sources, repeatedly. He called his comments to Wolff “grotesque.” He maintained that Bannon had little to do with Trump’s political success, offering twice an authoritarian-tinged anecdote about the president’s ability to dictate a speech on the fly. He labeled Wolff a “garbage author of a garbage book.”
And responding to Trump’s Twitter claim that he is a “very stable genius,” Miller stood by his man, repeatedly asserting that the president speaks the truth.
“The president is a political genius … who took down the Bush dynasty, who took down the Clinton dynasty, who took down the entire media complex,” he said.
Tapper, sensing that Miller was catering to a very specific viewer with his comments, said, “I’m sure he’s watching and he’s happy you said that.”
Miller grew incensed and accused Tapper of being “condescending,” and the two started talking over each other. Miller became so irate that Tapper told him to “settle down” at one point.
Later, Miller dodged another question about the president’s fitness by attacking CNN for promoting “very fake news,” and again proclaimed Trump’s genius.
“There’s one viewer you care about right now, and you’re being obsequious, you’re being a factotum in order to please him,” Tapper said, concluding the interview as Miller struggled to get a word in. “I’ve wasted enough of my viewers’ time.”
It may have been a satisfying climax to anyone in tune with reality, but the one viewer that mattered immediately gave Miller a glowing review for his performance.
Tapper led off his next segment with the words, “Welcome back to CNN and planet Earth.”