The New York Times published a profile today on President Trump’s head speechwriter, Stephen Miller. Paste’s Shane Ryan wrote an excellent piece going after perhaps the most noteworthy excerpt—Miller crashing a girls’ track meet to prove male superiority, or something—and here are ten more below that stood out to this writer.
“Am I the only one,” he asked, “who is sick and tired of being told to pick up my trash when we have plenty of janitors who are paid to do it for us?”
“We have this running joke,” said Kellyanne Conway, counselor to the president, “that if we were going to get key man’s insurance on anyone, Stephen would top the list.” She was referring to policies that companies take out on their most important employee.
“I can hear Stephen’s voice,” said a fellow Santa Monica student, Nick Silverman. “Even when Trump reads these statements, I know, ‘That’s Stephen.’”
“It does have this tang of the seething id of Santa Monica,” another student, Jake Zambas, said of Mr. Miller’s nativist streak, noting that their high school, like the town, was largely self-segregating. “Everyone here is just a scared white person.”
4. Marilyn Monroe Apparently Has Some Competition
Mr. Miller set off on a patriotic semi-striptease before the editor of the student newspaper, according to the editor, Ari Rosmarin, theatrically removing a button-down to reveal an American flag T-shirt in protest of an article he found inconsistent with the national interest. (The White House denied any symbolic unbuttoning, though officials confirmed Mr. Miller’s fondness for the T-shirt.)
He jumped, uninvited, into the final stretch of a girls’ track meet, apparently intent on proving his athletic supremacy over the opposite sex. (The White House, reaching for exculpatory context, noted that this was a girls’ team from another school, not his own.)
Shortly before the start of ninth grade, Mr. Islas said, he received a call from Mr. Miller informing him that the two could no longer be friends.
“He gives me this litany of reasons,” Mr. Islas said.
Most were petty, if mean, he recalled: an insult about his social awkwardness, a dig at his acne-specked face. But one stuck out.
“He mentioned my Latino heritage as one of the reasons,” Mr. Islas said. “I remember coming away from the conversation being like, ‘O.K., that’s that.’”
“He tended to make some of the Spanish language stuff very personal,” said Moises Castillo, a classmate who described the exchanges as hurtful to this day. “There was a ‘if you’re not speaking English, perhaps you should go somewhere else.’”
Among his causes: pressing administrators to require the daily recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance. (He prevailed.)
After graduating, Mr. Miller moved to Washington to work as press secretary for Representative Michele Bachmann of Minnesota. By 2009, he found his way to Senator Jeff Sessions of Alabama (Mr. Horowitz, the author, had introduced them), and he was eventually elevated to Mr. Sessions’s communications director.
“Trump gets it,” Mr. Miller wrote to friends weeks later, forwarding a Breitbart interview with Mr. Trump, who concluded that Mr. Cantor’s defeat owed to “his softness on immigration.”
“I wish he’d run for president,” Mr. Miller added of Mr. Trump.
When he did, Mr. Miller joined him early, before a vote had been cast in the primaries — and before Mr. Sessions became Mr. Trump’s most significant elected supporter. At rallies, Mr. Miller often warmed up crowds in his dark suits, his receding hairline slicked back. “We’re going to build that wall, and we’re going to build it out of love!” Mr. Miller promised.
Jacob Weindling is a staff writer for Paste politics. Follow him on Twitter at @Jakeweindling.