CNN's Jake Tapper had a contentious interview with White House senior adviser Stephen Miller on Sunday morning as the two argued about President Donald Trump's mental wellbeing and the network's reporting practices.
When asked about the president’s tweet claiming to be “a very stable genius" earlier this week, Miller defended his boss and took a shot at CNN in one sweeping motion.
“Not only do I think they help it, but I think in the toxic environment that you've created here and CNN and cable news, which is a real crisis of legitimacy for your network,” Miller said.
Tapper ended the interview shortly after.
“I get it. There’s one viewer that you care about right now and you're being obsequious and you’re being a factotum in order to please him, OK," Tapper said on State of the Union.
Who Tapper was referring to is uncertain, but one viewer in particular with millions of Twitter followers quickly chided the CNN host soon after the interview was over.
"Jake Tapper of Fake News CNN just got destroyed in his interview with Stephen Miller of the Trump Administration," Trump tweeted.
"Watch the hatred and unfairness of this CNN flunky!"
Miller came on the show to defend Trump's image in response to Michael Wolff's new book, Fire and Fury. The book quotes many of Trump's current and former aides who describe Trump as inept and ill-suited for the presidency.
Miller described the book as a “grotesque work of fiction” that is a “pile of trash.”
“It's tragic and unfortunate that Steve would make these grotesque comments so out of touch with reality and obviously so vindictive and the whole White House staff is deeply disappointed in his comments, which were grotesque,” Miller told Tapper.
In Fire and Fury, Wolff describes Miller as being over his head as a senior adviser to the President:
Except, other than being a far-right conservative, it was unclear what particular abilities accompanied Miller’s views. He was supposed to be a speechwriter, but if so, he seemed restricted to bullet points and unable to construct sentences. He was supposed to be a policy adviser but knew little about policy. He was supposed to be the house intellectual but was militantly unread. He was supposed to be a communications specialist but he antagonized almost everyone.
Miller has been a steadfast supporter of Trump since the beginning of the former T.V. reality host's presidential campaign in 2015.
Miller's politics quickly came into question soon after becoming a prominent voice in the Trump administration: As a high schooler in Santa Monica during Bush administration, Miller wrote a letter to a local publication in his hometown of Santa Monica deriding the "rampant political correctness" at his high school. Miller also complained about his high school's LGBT club and slammed administration for inviting a Muslim leader to speak on campus.
"Osama Bin Laden would feel very welcome at Santa Monica High School," Miller concluded.
Reporters also dug into Miller's time at Duke University in the early 2000s. As reported by Mother Jones, Miller wrote some 20 columns for the Duke Chronicle championing conservative and right-wing politics and lamenting “unpatriotic dissent" on campus.
At Duke, Miller became acquainted with white nationalist Richard Spencer. Spencer told reporters in 2016 that he acted as a “mentor” to Miller.
“I spent a lot of time with him at Duke… I hope I expanded his thinking… but I think he probably would be where he is today without me as well,” Spencer said, according to The Daily Beast.
Miller is a former staffer for Jeff Sessions and once worked as a press secretary for Rep. Michele Bachmann.
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