Fox News host presses WH advisor Miller on racist chant

White House adviser Stephen Miller in an interview with Fox News host Chris Wallace Sunday defended President Trump’s attacks against four Democratic lawmakers of color that were condemned as racist by Democrats and civil rights groups.

“I think the term ‘racist,’ Chris, has become a label that is too often deployed by the 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,” Miller said.

Trump stirred controversy when he called for Ilhan Omar, Rashida Tlaib, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Ayanna Pressley to “go back” to the “crime infested places from which they came” a week ago. All the women who make up the self-proclaimed “Squad” are American, and, excluding Omar, all were born in the United States.

The “squad” hit back at the president, who has consistently been called out as racist by Democrats, and accused him of “stoking white nationalism.”

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Senior advisor Stephen Miller attends a meeting between U.S. President Donald Trump and congressional leaders to discuss trade deals at the at the Roosevelt room of the White House in Washington U.S., February 2, 2017. REUTERS/Carlos Barria
Senior advisor Stephen Miller (L) and Senior advisor and son-in-law of U.S. President Donald Trump, Jared Kushner (R) attend a breakfast meeting with small business leaders hosted by Trump at the Roosevelt room of the White House in Washington U.S., January 30, 2017. REUTERS/Carlos Barria
White House speech writer Stephen Miller (L) and advisor Jared Kushner (2nd L) join President Donald Trump at a meeting with U.S. congressional leaders in the State Dining Room at the White House in Washington, U.S. January 23, 2017. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
U.S. President Donald Trump's top White House staff, including (L-R) Chief of Staff Reince Priebus, National Security Advisor Michael Flynn, Chief Strategist Steve Bannon and Senior Advisors Stephen Miller and Jared Kushner, enter the East Room to attend a joint news conference being held by President Trump and British Prime Minister Theresa May at the White House in Washington, U.S., January 27, 2017. REUTERS/Carlos Barria
White House counselor Kellyanne Conway and Senior Advisor Stephen Miller (R) walk along the colonnade ahead of a joint press conference by Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and U.S. President Donald Trump at the White House in Washington, U.S., February 10, 2017. REUTERS/Jim Bourg
U.S. Representative Steny Hoyer (D-MD) (L-R), House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), White House advisor Jared Kushner, House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI), WHite House speech writer Stephen Miller, Representative Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and Senator John Cornyn (R-TX) wait for President Donald Trump to arrive for a reception and meeting with U.S. congressional leaders in the State Dining Room at the White House in Washington, U.S. January 23, 2017. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
Senior White House Advisor Stephen Miller waits to go on the air in the White House Briefing Room in Washington, U.S., February 12, 2017. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts
White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer removes lint from Senior White House Advisor Stephen Miller's jacket as he waits to go on the air in the White House Briefing Room in Washington, U.S., February 12, 2017. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
Senior White House Advisor Stephen Miller waits to go on the air in the White House Briefing Room in Washington, U.S., February 12, 2017. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts
White House senior advisors Stephen Miller (C) and Kellyanne Conway arrive prior to a joint news conference between Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and U.S. President Donald Trump at the White House in Washington, U.S., February 13, 2017. REUTERS/Carlos Barria
White House Senior Advisor Stephen Miller takes the president's notes from a White House military aide after a joint news conference between U.S. President Donald Trump and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, at the White House in Washington, U.S., February 15, 2017. REUTERS/Carlos Barria
White House Chief Strategist Steve Bannon (C) arrives with Senior Advisor Stephen Miller (L) and Chief of Staff Reince Priebus for a news conference by U.S. President Donald Trump at the White House in Washington, U.S., February 16, 2017. REUTERS/Carlos Barria
White House advisors Stephen Miller (L) and Steve Bannon (R) arrive aboard Air Force One, returning to Washington with U.S. President Donald Trump from a weekend in Florida, at Joint Base Andrews, Maryland, U.S. March 5, 2017. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
Senior advisors Stephen Miller and Kellyanne Conway watch as German Chancellor Angela Merkel and U.S. President Donald Trump hold a joint news conference in the East Room of the White House in Washington, U.S., March 17, 2017. REUTERS/Jim Bourg
White House Senior Adviser Stephen Miller arrives to attend a joint news conference by German Chancellor Angela Merkel and U.S. President Donald Trump in the East Room of the White House in Washington, U.S., March 17, 2017. REUTERS/Jim Bourg
White House senior policy advisor Stephen Miller (R) joins Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders to discuss U.S. immigration policy at the daily briefing at the White House in Washington, U.S. August 2, 2017. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
White House senior policy advisor Stephen Miller (R) joins Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders to discuss U.S. immigration policy at the daily briefing at the White House in Washington, U.S. August 2, 2017. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
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Trump deflected claims that his tweets were racist and declared the four lawmakers “hate our country,” and urge them to leave the U.S. if they “are not happy here.”

“I fundamentally disagree with the view that if you criticize someone and they happen to be a different color skin that that makes it a racial criticism,” Miller said. “If you want to have a colorblind 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.”

“And can you also say ‘go back’ where you came from?” Wallace interjected, referring to a campaign rally where Trump attacked each congresswoman and rallygoers chanted “Send her back!” in reference to Somali-born Rep. Ilhan Omar.

House Democrats, outraged by the event, warned that Omar’s life was “in imminent danger.” But Miller argued that “with the ‘send her back’ chant,” the president was clear he disagreed with what happened at his rally.

While Trump disavowed the chants, Wallace pointed out that “he let it go on for 13 seconds and it was only when the chant diminished that he started talking again.”

“He said nothing there or in his tweet after the rally that indicated any concern about the chant.”

“The core issue is that all the people in that audience and millions of patriotic Americans all across the country are tired of being beaten up, condescended to, looked down upon, talked down to by members of Congress on the left in Washington, DC and their allies and many corners of the media.”

He criticized Omar who had been accused of downplaying the 9/11 terror attacks earlier this year and Ocasio-Cortez who called migrant detention facilities at the border to concentration camps.

“I’m a Jew,” Miller said. “As a Jew, as an American Jew I am profoundly outraged by the comments of Ocasio-Cortez. It is a historical smear. It is a sinful comment…And those are the comments, Chris, that we need to be focusing on.”

Wallace pointed out Trump’s track record of sharply criticising the U.S. both as a presidential candidate and commander-in-chief as well as his inflammatory comments such as connecting Mexican immigrants to crime, implementing policies like the Muslim travel ban, and demanding the birth certificate of the first black president — all of which Wallace said “is not protecting the American people. That is playing the race card.”

“I’ve never called any of his tweets racist, but there’s no question that he is stoking racist divisions,” Wallace said.

“The core element of the resident’s philosophy is America first,” Miller responded. “Saying that America needs to improve to get closer to an America first ideal as the president did as a candidate, criticizing Obama, criticizing our trade deals, our foreign policy deals, our immigration policies, is out of love for America.”

“These four Congresswomen detest America as it exists, as it is currently constructed,” he continued. “They want to tear down the structure of our country. They want it to be a socialist open-border country.”

Miller added: “There’s a gigantic, enormous distinction between Donald Trump saying ‘I’m going to get on the world stage and put America first at every single thing we do’ versus a view that says ‘America should never come first and American citizens should never come first,’ which is their view. And that’s what we’re going to take to the ballot box.”

On Sunday, Trump doubled down on his criticism of the squad, despite calls for both sides to “tone down their rhetoric,” saying, “I don’t believe the four Congresswomen are capable of loving our Country.”

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