GOP Sens. Question Rising Influence of Trump Adviser Stephen Miller

‘I don’t know whether he’s been an effective adviser for the president…’

Stephen Miller / PHOTO: Gage Skidmore (CC)

(Kaylee McGhee, Liberty Headlines) Senate Republicans are questioning the rise of White House adviser Stephen Miller in light of Kirstjen Nielsen’s abrupt departure from the Department of Homeland Security.

Miller has played an influential role in the Trump administration’s hard-line immigration policies, and several congressional Republicans believe his influence is hurting the DHS more than it’s helping.

“I hope that he’s got more voices than that one in his ear on these issues, because, yeah, I think it’s important that he get a whole perspective and range of opinions,” Sen. John Thune, R-SD, said of Trump, according to The Hill.

Trump reportedly fired Nielsen earlier this week after a disagreement over his zero tolerance policy at the border, which resulted in the separation of some migrant families.

“Secretary Nielsen left … And then anonymous sources from the White House, White House staff, cut the secretary to pieces. I don’t think that was right,” Sen. John Kennedy, R-La., said. “I think the staff who did that to the secretary hurt their boss, and I thought it was classless.”

It’s unclear whether Miller played a role in Nielsen’s dismissal, but he did appear to play a role in Trump’s surprise withdrawal of Ronald Vitiello for acting U.S. Immigrations and Customs Enforcement director, encouraging the president to take the agency in a “tougher direction.”

Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, said Miller is the “guy behind the curtain.”

When asked if he had concerns about Miller’s growing influence, Cornyn said he thought the White House needed more of a consistent message that did less to undermine the authority of its key leadership.

“I think there are some voices in the White House who are working counter to that message and particularly creating more problems for the administration by losing senior leadership,” Cornyn said.

Miller seems to be playing an active role in personnel changes at the DHS, and Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, said could “be suspicious” of Miller’s intentions.

“I don’t know whether he’s been an effective adviser for the president,” Grassley said.