Presidential historian Jon Meacham warned on Monday that immigration reform was being undermined by President Donald Trump’s inability to shut out extremist members of his staff like policy adviser Stephen Miller.
On MSNBC’s Morning Joe, host Joe Scarborough reflected on Sen. Lindsey Graham’s accusation that Miller was undermining Trump’s ability to negotiate an immigration reform deal that protects so-called Dreamers.
Scarborough asked Meacham if there were any historical parallels to the current government shutdown “where you have a 32-year-old aide [Stephen Miller] who takes a position that is extreme, that’s an outlier and the president continues to back down from what he believes.”
“The presidents who are warmly remembered are ones that ultimately tell their political base that they’re wrong,” Meacham explained. “These are people who tell their supporters, ‘On this one, the right thing to do is not what you thought.’ And one of the reasons to go into politics is to be able to move the ball in that sense.”
“And what’s noteworthy here is he’s the president of the United States,” he added. “If he can’t say no to Stephen Miller, God help us.”
Watch the video below from MSNBC.