Screengrab from https://youtu.be/aNrMDw0pA6A

There is a lot I don’t like about the Trump White House. It resembles the court of Borgia Pope more than it does a Band of Brothers. It is obviously chaotic and, to a great extent, President Trump thrives on the chaos. He obviously like watching staff fight it out and being the last person to talk to him on an issue is clearly more important than policy considerations. But one thing I like about this White House is, for the first time, we have people who realize that the media is not neutral, it is not an honest broker. They know the media is as much a part of the Democrat political apparatus as Nancy Pelosi, Chuck Schumer and whoever that f***wit is who’s running the DNC, whose name escapes me.

Thursday, Stephen Miller was on CNN’s Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer. Just let me say, were I calling the shots I’d make it very clear that you can work in the administration OR you can go on CNN and MSNBC. You can’t do both. But, I’m not, so there was Miller facing down the attack Corgi. It started out a little adversarial with the Syria pull-out and Mattis resignation. By the time Blitzer tried to claim that Miller had just announced withdrawal from Afghanistan, Miller was losing his sense of humor. Then they went onto the Border Wall and the government shutdown.

(H/T to RCP for their awesome transcript)

BLITZER: All right, let’s talk about a potential government shutdown at midnight tomorrow night on the eve of Christmas. This is what the president told Democratic leaders at the white House last week, Stephen. Listen to this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: I am proud to shut down the government for border security. I will take the mantle. I will be the one to shut it down. I’m not going to blame you for it. The last time you shut it down, it didn’t work. I will take the mantle of shutting it down, and I’m going to shut it down for border security.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BLITZER: We’re apparently in the same position we were a week ago. The president had, as you know, two years of Republican-controlled House and Republican-controlled Senate to get this done. To build that border wall. Why did he fail?

MILLER: Well, the House is voting as we speak o border security. The fight is only beginning. As you know, first of all, we’re talking about successful (ph) boarder security, this president has made unprecedented achievements in that area. But right now as we speak, we are rallying Republican lawmakers to try to get a bill out of the House. And the fundamental issue here is whether or not democrat will supply votes to pass border security or whether they’re going to push for open borders which…

BLITZER: But the — I understand completely what you’re saying about the importance of border security. I understand what you’re saying about the border wall, the president spoke about it in virtually every campaign speech as we know. Here’s the question. Why didn’t he get the border wall done during his first two years in office with a Republican majority in the House and a Republican majority in the Senate?

MILLER: Well, we actually have completed or have underway a hundred miles. But the president’s made clear that he’s not interested in continuing to build the one mile, one stretch at a time. He wants to build the wall by getting the money now, just like the president was very clear about for the last year leading up to this funding fight. But let’s cut through this. Right now as we speak — right now as we speak, there is a surge of illegal immigration heading towards our country that presents a national crisis now.

BLITZER: Right now, though…

MILLER: Not a year from now. Right now. And this president took an oath like every lawmaker in Congress to defend the citizens of this country. How many more innocent people have to die in order…

BLITZER: Stephen, hold on a minute, calm down a minute. We don’t have to yell. These are important policy issues that we’re discussing. The American people have a right to know where you, the president, the White House stands. As you know, why did the vice president, for example, Mike Pence, he was reported to have given a clear signal to Senate Republicans Mitch McConnell, Senator Cornyn of Texas. Why did he say yesterday that the president was willing to sign what was called that clean continuing resolution that the Senate passed unanimously last night? At least to keep the government going until early February.

MILLER: The White House never made a commitment to sign any legislation that doesn’t include border security.

BLITZER: Let me tell you what Senator Cornyn unequivocally said yesterday. He said the president would sign what the Senate passed.

MILLER: The president never made any commitment to sign a government funding bill absent border security. I appreciate what you said, Wolf, about how important this conversation is and you’re 100 percent right about that. This is about the safety and security of every family, every mother, every man, every child. It’s not whether or not we have drug free communities. It’s about whether or not poor, working class, and middle class Americans have a fair chance to get a job and a rising wage and a good quality of life. It’s about our schools. It’s about our living conditions. It’s about our communities. It’s about protecting the public treasury. It’s about all of those things and so much more.

Republicans and Democrats alike have a fundamental duty to the working people of this country to secure our border. This is straightforward common sense. Let’s have both parties come together and do what’s right for the people of this country and most especially for the needy Americans this time of year who deserve to have a secure country, a secure economy, and a secure…

BLITZER: I understand what you’re saying, but let me repeat the question. If it’s so important to have that border wall, why didn’t the president get it done during his first two years in office?

MILLER: In the first two years in office, in addition to deporting from this country, 200…

BLITZER: The question is about the border wall. Why couldn’t the president get the border wall funded in his first two years in office?

MILLER: In addition to the deporting of 200,000 criminal aliens who’ve preyed upon our people, the president also got funded several billion miles of the border wall. And he’s made it clear, this should be no surprise to you, Wolf or anyone else, he’s made it clear for over a year now that he expects to get full border security in this year end funding bill. This is not a dramatic request. This is mainstream common sense. How can you fund the government and not fund border security?

BLITZER: You’re a close observer to what’s going on, Stephen. He hasn’t gotten the $5 billion for the border wall. The Democrats are about to become the majority in the House of Representatives. Are you willing to come up with some sort of compromise right now to prevent 900,000 federal workers including 400,000 or 500,000 law enforcement types from — they will no longer get their paychecks as of midnight tomorrow night if there’s a government shutdown.

MILLER: I’m not going to negotiate here on air, but I would answer that question very simply. If Democrats don’t want the government to shut down, support border security. It’s that simple. I heard earlier you were discussing the steel slat barrier, what that’s referring to is the border patrol’s preferred method of building a physical impediment to illegal entry which are…

BLITZER: Are you talking to Democrats right now to come up with a compromise before midnight tomorrow night?

MILLER: The Democrats, all they need to do is support border security and the government will be funded.

BLITZER: The Democrats — Stephen, the democrats support border security. They don’t support $5 billion for a wall.

MILLER: Could you identify, Wolf, for me some of the border security they support?

BLITZER: They all support border security.

(CROSSTALK)

MILLER: Like what? They voted against case law. They voted against ending sanctuary cities. They voted against supporting MS-13 gang members, they voted against supporting violent criminals. They voted time and time against a physical border wall to stop illegal entry. I mean, where is the evidence that you keep asserting they’re for border security? They haven’t been. They oppose closing loopholes for asylum.

BLITZER: Stephen, I want to move on to another issue. Stephen.

MILLER: I’m just saying I believe government will be funded as long as Democrats make good on the rhetoric you cite and agree to…

BLITZER: But what if there’s no $5 billion in the legislation between now and tomorrow night?

MILLER: We’ll see what happens, Wolf. But I believe that hopefully some Democrats will come to their senses and support mainstream…

BLITZER: But are you open to a compromise that doesn’t include the $5 billion?

MILLER: We want a bill that keeps America safe. The president’s been clear about that and in his remarking today at the signing ceremony for the farm bill. And I’m not going to negotiate with you on air, the House is going to pass a bill and send it to the Senate and we’ll see what happens next.

BLITZER: You know, when you say we’ll see what happens, is that a good enough answer to the nearly 1 million federal workers, many of them law enforcement types who are not going to get a paycheck after midnight tomorrow night?

MILLER: That’s the question for the Senate Democrats and especially for Chuck Schumer who apparently at Nancy Pelosi’s bidding rescinded their support for a bill supporting border security only a few weeks ago.

BLITZER: Why not have a temporary measure, at least keep people working especially as we’re closer and closer to Christmas?

MILLER: Because if the bill doesn’t fund border security, it can’t keep America safe. In other words…

BLITZER: Is another month or two going to make much of a difference?

MILLER: You know what, Wolf? It makes a difference to the people that get killed by illegal immigrants who are drinking and driving or who get assaulted by gang members that come across the border or who lose their jobs to illegal competition. It makes a difference to all of them, Wolf.

BLITZER: I’m just saying. You got a couple months, at least keep the government going, begin to negotiate, try to work out a compromise with Democrats and Republicans — there are a bunch of Republicans who is don’t agree with you as well. Keep the discussions going but in the meantime, Stephen, at least don’t shut down the government.

MILLER: After decades of the American people being betrayed on the issue of border security and illegal immigration, this president is proud to take a stand on behalf of the safety and security of every American family. As you know, he’s met with the victims of illegal alien violence. Hes met with those whose family members were killed by MS-13 gang members who came here because of Democrat- supported loopholes in our federal law. He’s met with the victims of drug violence.

He’s met with the people who’ve been negatively impacted in so many heart breaking ways by this. Now’s the time, right now, to stand up and do what’s right for the American people, and that’s what this president is doing. And it is a question I hope you’ll have Democrats on your program and ask them if they can set aside in some of these cases their dislike of the president that’s driving them to hurt the country. Do what’s right for the country.

BLITZER: I understand what you’re saying. We will get a Democratic senator to respond to what you’re saying. My only point is, don’t shut down the government, continue the negotiations. Try to come up with a reasonable compromise. A few months ago the president was willing to come up with some sort of compromise involving the so-call DREAMers

MILLER: Yeah. But it was Democrats…

BLITZER: But let’s not go through that. Let’s not go through that right now.

MILLER: That’s fair. But it was Democrats who pulled their support for funding border security only a matter of days ago. And it’s Democrats who can fund the government by doing what’s right for the hard working citizens of this country and putting America first.

BLITZER: I know we don’t have a lot of time left, but let me ask you this. Why should American taxpayers have to pay for the wall along the border with Mexico? Why should almost a million federal workers have to work — half a million law enforcement types have to work over the holidays without their paychecks, over something the president of the United States as a candidate and as president repeatedly promised to the American people that Mexico would pay for the wall. Why is Mexico — the president said, guaranteed that Mexico would pay. Mexico clearly — the former government, the new government said they’re not paying.

MILLER: Thank you for asking the question. So first of all, as the president has said, as we’ve all said, the wall would be paid for through the savings on trade alone. But I want to explain to you..

(CROSSTALK)

MILLER: I’m glad you’re giving me the chance to answer the question. Because as you know, Wolf, in Washington budgeting, an offset is different than an allocation. Even though the trade savings offset the costs, Congress still has to allocate the funding. Even though it’s paid for by trade savings, Congress has to allocate the money. But it’s also fully paid for in another very important way, which is the cost of illegal immigration. Everyone talks of the cost of the wall., the cost of the wall is pennies compared to the cost of illegal immigration.

You obviously can’t measure the cost of the lives lost to illegal immigration. On both sides of the border and all the horrible things done by vicious and sinister cartels and coyotes. But at the same time, the cost of drugs alone according to our council on economic advisers, heroin over $230 billion a year, over 90 percent of it comes from the border. Public benefits for illegal immigrants, over $100 billion a year.

BLITZER: Those are all fair points, Stephen. But clearly, and I think you’ll agree, when the Mexican government, the former government, the current government says they’re not paying for the wall, you accept what they’re saying?

MILLER: No, I’m saying that the wall’s being paid for through savings on trade. Along with many other things. But that alone pays for the wall. My point is as you know, Congress, even though the money’s offset still has to allocate it.

BLITZER: Look. Under the separation of powers, Congress can use whatever money is saved through the new U.S./Mexico/Canada trade agreement. They can just use that money if extra money into the U.S. Treasury to cut down the nation’s debt. The deficit is exploding right now. They don’t have to — Congress does not have to earmark that money for a wall if Congress, the House and the Senate, don’t want to do that.

MILLER: Right. I think we’re saying the same thing, though, which is if Chuck Schumer and others want to pass a rule saying it can fund the wall directly, that would be great. But the point is…

BLITZER: They don’t want to do that.

MILLER: Right. But the point is, is that it’s all offset, it’s all paid for. The wall is fully…

BLITZER: The point is, Stephen, that Mexico — the president promised the Mexican government will write a check and pay for the wall.

MILLER: And the money’s paying for it. We’re getting lost in the minutia of complicated Washington budgeting.

BLITZER: It’s not minutia. It’s very significant.

MILLER: No, here’s what’s really significant, I the literally hundreds of billions of dollars that will be saved for the American people by reducing illegal immigration. Wolf, as you know, illegal immigration — illegal immigrants on average are lower skilled workers who consume more in public benefits than they pay in taxes. As a result of that, it costs our country hundreds of billions of dollars.

BLITZER: Stephen…

MILLER: This is a matter of social and economic justice for the American team to have a secure border, to have a wall, a physical impediment to illegal entry, and have a system that’s humane and just. What we are right now is fundamentally unjust and inhumane, and we have to change that.

BLITZER: Stephen, you’ve been generous with your time. We appreciate your joining us. We hope you’ll come back. But here’s a final question before I let you go. Will the president still travel to Mar-a-Lago in Palm Beach, Florida for his holiday vacation tomorrow if the government shuts down?

MILLER: My understanding — I haven’t talked with him about it. My understanding is if there’s a shutdown tomorrow that he’ll still be here. But I haven’t talked to him about it recently. But that’s my understanding.

BLITZER: All right. Let’s hope there isn’t a government shutdown. Because the consequences will be significant.

MILLER: Let’s hope that Democrats fund border security.

BLITZER: Let’s see if you guys can work together with Democrats and get this resolved just before Christmas. It would be a nice gift to the American people. Stephen Miller, thank you so much. Please come back.

MILLER: Thank you. Thank you, I will. Thanks.

What is so noticeable here is the way Blitzer drops any pretense at trying to define the Administration’s point of view and focuses on hammering Miller with Democrat talking points. Notice, for instance, at no point in discussing a compromise does Blitzer offer anything the GOP might trade for the Wall other than just not building it. I understand that GOP surrender has been known as “compromise” for some years but this was sort of pathetic. But the highlight is this:

BLITZER: Are you talking to Democrats right now to come up with a compromise before midnight tomorrow night?

MILLER: The Democrats, all they need to do is support border security and the government will be funded.

BLITZER: The Democrats — Stephen, the democrats support border security. They don’t support $5 billion for a wall.

MILLER: Could you identify, Wolf, for me some of the border security they support?

BLITZER: They all support border security.

(CROSSTALK)

MILLER: Like what? They voted against case law. They voted against ending sanctuary cities. They voted against supporting MS-13 gang members, they voted against supporting violent criminals. They voted time and time against a physical border wall to stop illegal entry. I mean, where is the evidence that you keep asserting they’re for border security? They haven’t been. They oppose closing loopholes for asylum.

BLITZER: Stephen, I want to move on to another issue. Stephen.

And he is absolutely right. As I noted back a couple of years ago when another government shutdown loomed over immigration, the Democrats do not want border security. They do not want immigration laws enforced. They don’t even want to solve the problem of the so-called DREAMers. All they really want is to keep the issue alive for electoral reasons and to register illegals to vote.

Watching Miller hand Blitzer his ass was well worth the time. Hope you enjoy it as well.

 

Full interview