Trump adviser Stephen Miller's attempt at damage control did not go well.
White nationalist and despotic-minded White House senior adviser Stephen Miller was sent out to quash the firestorm from author Michael Wolff’s controversial tell-all book Sunday morning, but wound up self-immolating instead.
In a lengthy interview on CNN’s State of the Union, Miller tried, very unsuccessfully, to minimize the role of ousted White House senior strategist Steve Bannon, and was frustrated in his efforts to run out the clock by dogged host Jake Tapper.
Before things got contentious, Miller made his worst stumble when answering for Bannon’s assertion that there was no way Trump didn’t meet with the Russians who attended the June 2016 Trump Tower meeting.
A hesitant Miller conspicuously refused to rule it out, haltingly telling Tapper, “I have no knowledge of anything to do with that meeting.”
It’s worth noting that in this instance, Miller’s instinct for self-preservation appears to have overridden his charge to cover for Trump. Miller is a witness in the Mueller investigation.
In fairly short order, Miller began to attack CNN in order to avoid Tapper’s tough questioning, insisting that “it brings a lot of you guys a lot of joy” to report on the allegations in Wolff’s book, “Fire and Fury.”
But Tapper quickly turned the tables on Miller, continuing his tough questioning, and repeatedly observing that Miller was performing for “an audience of one.”
The interview concluded with an unhinged Miller desperately attacking Tapper in order to avoid questioning, and an extraordinary shutdown from Tapper, who disdainfully dismissed Miller and addressed viewers while Miller continued to rant:
TAPPER: I get it. There’s one viewer that you care about right now, and you’re being obsequious, you’re being a factotum, in order to please him…
TAPPER: …and I think I’ve wasted enough of my viewers’ time. Thank you Stephen.
MILLER: Hey Jake, you know who I care about?
TAPPER: (to camera) As Republican lawmakers call for Attorney General Jeff Sessions to resign…
Miller’s embarrassing performance might very well have steamrolled another journalist, but the respected and seasoned Tapper treated this propaganda exercise with the dismissal that it deserved.
If only more would do the same.