Stephen Miller, a senior White House policy adviser and chief speechwriter, who was likely gleefully tasked with defending President Donald Trump’s most recent racist remarks, was a guest on Fox News Sunday. But host Chris Wallace was determined not to make things easy for the administration’s chief architect of brutally harsh anti-immigration policies.
Chris Wallace began by showing the original racist tweets from the president that dominated the news this week. Then Wallace ran a montage of racist statements made by Trump over the past decade and asked Miller: “Why shouldn’t someone see all of that as racist?”
— FoxNewsSunday (@FoxNewsSunday) July 21, 2019
Miller, of course, tried to divert and instead turned a question about the president’s racism and made it about the Democrats, saying, “I think the term ‘racist,’ Chris, has become a label that is too often deployed by left/Democrats in this country simply to try to silence and punish and suppress people they disagree with, speech that they don’t want to hear. The reality is that this president has been a president for all Americans,” Miller said.
Wallace then pushed back and began listing the obviously racist things that both he and Miller just watched in the montage. But Miller continued his defense of the indefensible by changing the argument, which is about Donald Trump, as a private citizen and now as president, making objectively racist statements. Miller said, “I fundamentally disagree with the view that if you criticize somebody and they happen to be a different color skin, that makes it racial criticism.”
Miller continued, “If you want to have a color blind society, it means you can criticize immigration policy, you can criticize people’s views, you can ask questions about where they’re born and not have it be seen as racial.”
Wallace, still not having it, responded, “And can you also say, ‘Go back where you came from’?”
Miller then tried to defend Trump by distancing the president from the “send her back” chants heard at the rally this week. It’s something that Trump has gone back and forth on, first backtracking because of pushback he’d received from some in his inner circle and Republicans in general. Miller said, “I’m glad we can now get to what I think we really want to focus on, with the ‘send her back’ chant, the president was clear that he disagreed with it.”
Again, Wallace would not let Miller gaslight his audience, something that most other Fox News hosts are determined to do. Wallace told Miller, “Excuse me, [Trump] let it go one for 13 seconds and it was only when chant diminished that he started talking again.”
It shouldn’t stand out as odd or out of the ordinary when members of the Trump administration are held to account for the president’s racist rhetoric. But, sadly, it does make one pause when it happens on Fox News.