White House senior adviser Stephen Miller is reportedly looking to clean house in the Trump administration.
Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen's resignation on Sunday came as Miller has been pushing for a broader shakeup, looking to install more immigration hardliners throughout the administration, Politico reports. He reportedly played in role in Ronald Vitiello's ICE director nomination being pulled, which Trump said was because the administration wants to go in a "tougher" direction. Nielsen's support for Vitiello was "problematic for her with the president," The New York Times reports.
The report from Politico notes that it's not entirely clear if Miller played a direct role in Nielsen's departure, though CNN reports she was pressured to resign. But a source close to the outgoing DHS secretary told Politico there's "definitely a larger shakeup abreast" being led by Miller, while a former DHS official said Miller is "actively trying to put people who have very different points of view than the current leadership within the agencies" and is essentially looking to "clean house."
For instance, Miller has reportedly been recommending Trump fire the current director of Citizenship and Immigration Services. He has also been making phone calls to mid-level employees throughout the administration to "angrily demand" they do more on immigration, Politico reports, which an official briefed described as "intimidation." If that's the case, it seems to be working, as some officials evidently fear their job will be at risk if "they don't pursue a more aggressive approach to border control."
Miller, who a former White House aide quoted in his book as allegedly saying he "would be happy if not a single refugee foot ever again touched America's soil," has reportedly been gaining more influence in the administration, with The Washington Post reporting that Trump told his advisers that going forward, Miller would be "in charge of all immigration initiatives."