The clip comes highly recommended from one of America’s foremost television connoisseurs.
Jake Tapper of Fake News CNN just got destroyed in his interview with Stephen Miller of the Trump Administration. Watch the hatred and unfairness of this CNN flunky!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 7, 2018
Congratulations to Miller on his forthcoming nomination to the Supreme Court. He was the perfect surrogate for Trump on “Fire and Fury” weekend, a guy who relishes combat with the media and a rare Trump aide with as much populist cred as Steve Bannon. If Trump had sent, say, Gary Cohn out there on this morning’s shows to give Bannon the kiss of death, Bannonites would have spat and muttered “globalist.” But Miller, a Sessions alum and the most outspoken border hawk left in the West Wing, is unimpeachable. Jonathan Swan of Axios saw this coming from a mile away, offering this prediction yesterday:
Easy prediction: Miller is going on CNN to publicly behead Steve Bannon for a gleeful audience of One. Trump wants every last person historically described as a Bannon ally to bury him on TV. Trump is telling people to choose between him and Bannon and everyone is choosing Trump. https://t.co/Zs85L95EFI
— Jonathan Swan (@jonathanvswan) January 7, 2018
Watch the clip below. How’d Swan do?
A not-so-secret secret about Miller is that, despite his immigration pedigree, he really wasn’t a “Bannon guy” in the White House. He and Bannon collaborated on the travel ban executive order but reports were circulating as far back as April that he had move towards Jared Kushner’s camp. Miller is much younger than Bannon but he’s shrewder politically, realizing that to survive in Trump’s divided White House it would pay to have one foot in the “globalist” camp. Bannon is forever in #WAR mode, which left him isolated, powerless, and eventually without a job. Miller’s standing, meanwhile, is higher than ever.
Especially after this. The other way in which Miller is shrewder than Bannon is understanding that Trump prizes nothing more than total obsequiousness by his underlings. That’s exactly what he got in the Tapper clip, 200-proof. The president has plenty of sycophantic media surrogates but the performance you’re about to see from Miller may be the single most sycophantic display by a White House aide since the start of Trump’s presidency. It’s Hannityesque. And combative too: Not even Conway in her occasional rumbles with CNN anchors has been as eager to throw down as Miller is here. He’s rough around the edges — you can see him struggling at times to remember the exact words he’d been told to say as part of his talking points, and he strays into repetition in his zeal to hit all elements of the president’s message. (Bannon’s comments are “grotesque” and “tragic,” the Wolff book is “trash” and “garbage,” the president is a “political genius” filled with geniusy ingeniousness.) But what he lacks in polish he makes up for in pure aggression.
Sonny Bunch is spot on:
As much as I hate Bannon—and I think my loathing of him and his whole *thing* has a pretty decent track record here—there’s something vaguely totalitarian about the ritual denunciations from all his former allies for the benefit of the great leader.
— Sonny Bunch (@SonnyBunch) January 7, 2018
The over-the-top glorification of Trump combined with the sudden condemnation of Bannon, a hero of the Trumpist revolution until 72 hours ago, really does give this a Soviet vibe. No wonder Trump loves it. CNN-haters will love it too, something Miller doubtless understands as he’s done battle with CNNers on TV before to populist acclaim. If he’s not press secretary before Trump’s term ends I’ll be shocked.