Leaked Stephen Miller Emails to Breitbart Directed Race, Anti-Immigrant News Coverage

Leaked emails from White House senior policy adviser Stephen Miller from 2015-2016 reveal an obsession with white nationalism, the Confederacy and the denigration of black and Hispanic communities.

More than 900 private emails between Miller and Breitbart News were examined by the Southern Poverty Law Center's Hatewatch section, revealing that 80 percent of the messages pertained to race or immigration. The emails sent between March 2015 and June 2016 straddle Miller's time as an aide to then-Alabama Republican Senator Jeff Sessions and his later role on as a senior adviser for then-presidential candidate Donald Trump's campaign. Miller's emails tout eugenics and white nationalist conspiracy theories and offer news tips to Breitbart on how to cover immigration and amplify stories about black and Hispanic crime.

Katie McHugh, the former Breitbart editor who leaked the emails to Hatewatch, told the SPLC that "what Stephen Miller sent to me in those emails has become policy at the Trump administration." McHugh, who publicly renounced her alt-right ties and beliefs in an interview with Buzzfeed News, was fired from Breitbart in 2017 for an anti-Muslim tweet.

Miller's conversations with McHugh and the Breitbart editors show him suggesting story ideas as well as directing the right-wing publication on how to report anti-immigrant, anti-Muslim news narratives. The now-senior Trump administration adviser who has been instrumental in crafting the president's immigration policies delves into topics ranging from Central American refugees to Nazi literature.

A September 2015 email from Miller recommended Breitbart write about The Camp of the Saints, which the SPLC described as a "racist French novel" popular among neo-Nazis and white nationalists. The book fictionalizes the "great replacement" conspiracy theory and "white genocide." Many of Miller's emails directly correspond with stories published on the right-wing website just hours or even weeks later. Eighteen days after Miller's emails about the French novel, Breitbart editor Julia Hahn published a story about Pope Francis urging America to open its borders to "impoverished migrants" and citing the Camp of the Saints in the headline.

That same month, Miller sent Breitbart a link to a tweet from right-wing pundit David Frum which laments "half of all violent crime in Germany committed by 'foreign youths.'" Miller and McHugh's exchange goes on to discuss how SAT scores plummeted because of the forced inclusion of "poor and nonwhite students" into classrooms.

Breitbart spokesperson Elizabeth Moore responded to the SPLC's report on Miller's emails, dismissing the "previously reported on" exchanges as "not exactly a newsflash."

"It is no surprise to us that the SPLC opposes news coverage of illegal-immigrant crime and believes such coverage is disproportionate, especially when compared to the rest of the media, which often refuse to cover such crimes," Moore told SPLC reporter Michael Edison Hayden.

When speaking to SPLC, McHugh recounted an anecdote about Miller pitching her stories and referencing the white supremacist publication, American Renaissance.

"It was after lunchtime. I was sitting at my desk with my MacBook, and as Miller was speaking, I was looking away ... to better concentrate on what he was saying," McHugh relayed to Hatewatch. "Miller asked me if I had seen the recent 'AmRen' article about crime statistics and race. I responded in the affirmative because I had read it. Many of us [on the far right] had read it. I remember being struck by the way he called it 'AmRen,' the nickname."

That email exchange was also followed up by a July 2015 article headlined, "New DOJ Statistics on Race and Violence Crime."

Miller and McHugh's emails also discuss Islamic terrorism at length, with Miller even urging the Breitbart editors to make a story about Umpqua Community College mass killer Chris Harper-Mercer the "lede" of the website's coverage.

"[Harper-Mercer] is described as 'mixed race' and born in England. Any chance of piecing that profile together more, or will it all be covered up?" Miller asked McHugh.

The Southern Poverty Law Center's report goes on to detail comparisons between Miller and white nationalist leader Richard Spencer. Miller has since denied and "repudiated" all views expressed by Spencer in the past.

stephen miller leaked breitbart emails
Leaked emails from Stephen Miller reveal an obsession with white nationalism, the Confederacy and the denigration of minority communities. Alex Wong/Staff/Getty Images