Presidential aide Stephen Miller is taking on an aggressive role in shaking up President Donald Trump's administration, including calling mid-level officials at several departments to demand they do more to slow the flow of immigrants, according to two people familiar with the phone calls.
“It’s intimidation,” one of those briefed on the calls told Politico. "Any time you get a call like this from the White House, it's intimidation...Under normal circumstances, if you were a deputy in one of these agencies, it would be very unusual.”
It was not made immediately clear if Miller was behind the departure of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen, who announced her resignation Sunday after meeting with Trump. However, a person close to her said that there is "definitely a larger shakeup abreast being led by Stephen Miller and the staunch right wing within the administration...they failed with the courts and with Congress and now they’re eating their own.”
Miller may also have had a role in Trump's decision not to nominate acting Immigration and Customs Enforcement Director Ronald Vitiello for a permanent spot, according to sources who said he told Trump days before he pulled the nomination that Vitiello had doubts about the president's vow to shut down the Mexican border.
He also is reportedly pushing for Trump to fire Citizenship and Immigration Services Director Lee Francis Cissna, reports Politico.
Firing Cissna would be a "colossal mistake," said R.J. Hauman, government relations director at the Federation for American Immigration Reform.
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