Disquiet among family of top Trump aide Stephen Miller
STEPHEN MILLER, President Trump’s national policy director, is, at 31, one of the most influential figures in America.
Mr Miller, who is Jewish, is widely believed to be the architect of the Trump administration’s “Muslim ban” and Mexico wall policies — but many of his school contemporaries, and some members of his family, are appalled at his stances, which have attracted praise from former KKK leader David Duke.
Mr Miller grew up in Santa Monica, California. His parents were members of the local Reform synagogue. Contemporaries recall him as a “contrarian”, who once told another boy he could not stay friends with him because he was Latino, and was booed off stage for making a racist joke.
His Hebrew school teacher, Rabbi Jeff Marx, said: “We did our best here to teach Stephen the ethical standards of Judaism”, but his refusal to say more spoke volumes. Justin Gordon, who attended Hebrew school with Miller, said: “A lot of people who went to school with him are sick to their stomachs.”
Mr Miller’s great-grandparents fled pogroms in Belarus and settled in Johnstown, Pennsylvania. His grandfather, Isadore Glosser, who was president of Beth Sholom, the town’s only synagogue, was, like almost all Johnstown citizens, a fervent Democrat.
At Duke University, where he studied politics, he was said to have been friends with white supremacist Richard Spencer, which Mr Miller denies.
David Glosser, his uncle, said: “My nephew and I must both reflect long and hard on one awful truth. If in the early 20th century the USA had built a wall against poor desperate ignorant immigrants of a different religion, like the Glossers, all of us would have gone up the crematoria chimneys with the other six million kinsmen whom we can never know.”