President Donald Trump on Wednesday brushed aside the notion that his aide Stephen Miller is behind the White House’s hawkish immigration platform—and took sole credit for it like he has with the economy, Lady Gaga’s fame and restoring ‘Merry Christmas’ to the public lexicon.
“Frankly, there’s only one person that is running it. You know who that is? It’s me,” the president told reporters on Wednesday, pointing to his cranium on the final note.
Trump conceded, however, that Miller “is an excellent guy,” “a wonderful person” and “a brilliant man.”
The president’s remarks follow a recent shakeup at the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), which has resulted in the resignations of Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen, Acting Deputy Claire Grady and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Director nominee Ron Vitiello. Miller is suspected to be behind the purge, given reports that Trump recently granted the aide authority over all immigration and border issues, and has also pushed for the ouster of United States Citizenship and Immigration Services head Lee Francis Cissna.
In response to an inquiry from CNN about his influence in the White House, Miller echoed the president’s sentiments.
“Only one person in this U.S. government runs immigration policy: President Donald Trump.”
Robert Costa of The Washington Post, however, teased the possibility that the biggest architect behind immigration may be Fox Business host Lou Dobbs.
“There is a view among some longtime Trump allies that Miller is influential, but the most influential person in the president’s ear is Lou Dobbs, through the TV each night,” tweeted Costa on Wednesday. “Trump listens closely to Dobbs, they say, then turns to Miller for related policy responses.”