Who Is Stephen Miller, the Jewish Adviser Behind Trump's 'American Carnage'?

Miller, the 31-year-old, who grew up in a liberal home in Santa Monica, California, was Trump’s chief speechwriter throughout the campaign and reportedly a good friend of controversial white nationalist Richard Spencer.

Donald Trump and speech writer Stephen Miller.
Donald Trump and speech writer Stephen Miller. Brendan SMIALOWSK, Drew Angerer, AFP

President Trump’s inauguration speech was written by two of the president’s closest aides, Steve Bannon and Stephen Miller, and not Donald Trump himself, the Wall Street Journal reported Saturday.

A White House official told the Journal that Trump, who aides had touted would write the speech himself, even posting a photo of the president-elect doing so on social media, had entrusted his speech writer and chief counsel with the text.

Both Miller and Bannon, the former executive chair of Breitbart News, have been at the forefront of Trump's populist messaging. Miller, who wrote Trump's speech at the Republican National Convention, was accused of promoting a dystopian view of America, a theme carried through in Trump's inaugural address, in which Trump referred to crime, poverty and the disappearing manufactuing base in the country as "American carnage."

Miller, the 31-year-old, who grew up in a liberal home in Santa Monica, California, was Trump’s chief speechwriter throughout the campaign, a role he has been tapped to continue in the White House. Miller is known for his ability to provoke his audience - he often stirred up the crowds at campaign rallies before Trump would take the stage. 

Miller is an old friend of the controversial white nationalist leader Richard Spencer, Mother Jones reported in December. The two met while they were students at Duke University, both of them members of the conservative student union. Spencer told the magazine that Miller “is not alt-right or a white nationalist or an identitarian.” But he added: “Could Miller and Trump do good things for white Americans? The answer is yes.”

Miller and Bannon had long been perceived as the driving force behind Donald Trump's "Muslim ban" campaign pledge.  

When announcing Miller as senior adviser to the president for policy back in December, Trump noted in a statement that Miller had played a “central and wide-ranging role” in the campaign. “He is deeply committed to the America First agenda, and understands the policies and actions necessary to put that agenda into effect." "America First," was one of the central themes of Trump's January 20th inaugural address. 

Trump's address quickly drew fire from the media as commentators pointed out its divisive and dark language.  CNN's Jake Tapper's immediate reaction to the speech was to call it, "one of the most radical inaugural speeches we've ever heard." While NBC's Chuck Todd said, "It is shockingly divisive. I was surprised, because I thought it was unnecessarily divisive" and Tom Brokaw commented that it was, "Short on elegance; long on bombast. … It didn't have the poetry."

The Washington Post tracked the text of the speech and found some words unique to Trump's address. "Words Donald Trump said for the first time in any U.S. inaugural address": bleed … carnage … depletion … disagreements … disrepair … flush … infrastructure … Islamic … lady … landscape … overseas … ripped … rusted … sad … solidarity … sprawl … stealing … stolen … subsidized … tombstones … trapped … trillions … tunnel … unrealized … unstoppable … urban … wind-swept.