Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., called White House senior adviser Stephen Miller a “white nationalist” for pushing the Trump administration toward harsher enforcement of border and immigration policy.
“Stephen Miller is a white nationalist,” Omar tweeted on Monday night. “The fact that he still has influence on policy and political appointments is an outrage.”
On Friday, President Trump abruptly withdrew his nomination of Ronald Vitiello to run the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency, leaving it without a Senate-confirmed director during what the president has called an immigration “crisis.” Trump said he wanted to move ICE in a “tougher direction.”
Omar’s tweet linked to a story that called Miller, who has a reputation as an immigration hard-liner, the “mastermind” behind the move.
According to multiple reports, Miller also convinced Trump to remove top officials at the Department of Homeland Security who stood in the way of implementing hard-line immigration policies, including reinstituting family separations at the southern border.
Miller, who in the first week of the administration crafted Trump’s controversial travel ban targeting people from seven majority-Muslim countries, has claimed credit as one of the chief architects of the child separation policy, intended to discourage families from crossing the border in search of asylum.
After public outcry, Trump issued an executive order rescinding the “zero tolerance” immigration policy that led to migrant children being separated from their parents. But in recent months, the president has reportedly been urging Homeland Security officials to take tougher action to stop families from seeking asylum.
At an event Friday in Calexico, Calif., to promote construction of a wall on the U.S. border with Mexico, Trump had a new message for asylum-seekers as well as immigrants crossing the border illegally. “Our country is full,” Trump said. “Can’t take you anymore, I’m sorry. Can’t happen. So turn around, that’s the way it is.”
Omar’s tweet drew the ire of Donald Trump Jr., who took a swipe at the Muslim Democratic congresswoman from Minnesota.
“I see that the head of the Farrakhan Fan Club, @IlhanMN, took a short break from spewing her usual anti-semitic bigotry today to accuse a Jewish man of being a ‘white nationalist’ because she apparently has no shame,” Trump Jr. tweeted.
Omar, a Muslim immigrant from Somalia, has become a popular target for Trump and his supporters for her outspoken views on U.S.-Israeli relations. In February, she was forced to apologize after suggesting U.S. policy toward Israel is linked to financial support from American Jews.
The president himself mocked Omar in a speech to Jewish Republicans over the weekend.
“Special thanks to Rep. Omar of Minnesota,” the president said. “Oh, she doesn’t like Israel, I forgot. I’m so sorry!”
In the same speech, Trump referred to Israeli leader Benjamin Netanyahu as “your prime minister.” (The audience consisted of Americans.)
Trump’s jab at Omar came hours after a New York man and avowed Trump supporter was arrested by federal authorities for allegedly threatening to kill her.
According to a criminal complaint, Patrick Carlineo Jr., 55, called Omar’s office and told staffers that “she’s a f***ing terrorist” and “I’ll put a bullet in her f***ing skull.”
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