Donald Trump’s adviser and speechwriter Stephen Miller reportedly lobbied the president to drop his nominee to lead Immigration and Customs Enforcement because the man didn’t “fully” support a recent addition to the president’s agenda.
The Washington Post reported Friday that Trump dropped Ronald Vitiello, the agency’s current acting director, from consideration for the permanent position because Miller wanted someone “tougher.”
One senior White House official told the Post, however, that this isn’t the first time the adviser has worked to convince the president to change his mind about failed policies he’d proposed. In this case, the potential closure of the US-Mexico border reportedly factored into his effort to get Vitiello dropped.
“This is part of an increasingly desperate effort by Stephen to throw people under the bus when the policies he has advocated are not effective,” the official said. “Once it becomes clear that Stephen’s policies aren’t working, he tells the president ‘they’re not the right people.’”
“Stephen wants to put Attila the Hun as director of ICE,” the senior official, who believes Miller wants to put in someone closer to him, added.
As CNN’s Kaitlin Collins noted, Miller reportedly told Trump that Vitiello “was not fully in favor of closing the southern border.”
News — Stephen Miller directly lobbied President Trump to withdraw Ron Vitiello’s nomination to lead ICE, multiple sources say. Miller went to Trump and said Vitiello was not fully in favor of closing the southern border.
— Kaitlan Collins (@kaitlancollins) April 5, 2019