The Southern Poverty Law Center published hundreds of emails written by White House Senior Policy Advisor Stephen Miller sent to the conservative website Breitbart in 2016 and in 2017 after President Donald Trump took office.
The emails were leaked to the Southern Poverty Law Center’s Hatewatch blog by former Breitbart editor Katie McHugh, who was fired from the website in 2017 when she posted anti-Muslim tweets after the London terror attacks.
Here’s what you need to know.
1. The Leaked Emails Written By Stephen Miller, President Donald Trump’s Top Immigration Advisor, Show He Promoted White Nationalism and Anti-Immigration to Breitbart Editors
The emails from Stephen Miller, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center, mention “white nationalist websites, a ‘white genocide’-themed novel in which Indian men rape white women, xenophobic conspiracy theories and eugenics-era immigration laws that Adolf Hitler lauded in ‘Mein Kampf.'”
Miller is President Donald Trump’s senior policy advisor and a leading architect of his immigration policies. The Southern Poverty Law Center said among the 900 emails leaked by former Breitbart editor Katie McHugh, more than 80 percent of them mentioned race or immigration. The emails were disparaging of nonwhites and people born in other countries.
“Hatewatch was unable to find any examples of Miller writing sympathetically or even in neutral tones about any person who is nonwhite or foreign-born,” the Southern Poverty Law Center said.
The majority of the emails were sent while Miller was working for then-Sen. Jeff Sessions in 2016 and 2017 before he went to work for President Donald Trump at the White House.
2. Katie McHugh Was Fired From Breitbart in 2017 When She Posted an Anti-Muslim Tweet After the London Bridge Terror Attack
In 2017, Katie McHugh was working as an editor for Breitbart when a terrorism attack occurred in London. On June 3, a white van hit pedestrians on the London Bridge before three men got out and began stabbing people, killing seven people and injuring 48 others, according to the BBC.
McHugh later tweeted that “there would be no deadly terror attacks in the U.K. if Muslims didn’t live there,” CNN reported.
McHugh confirmed that she was fired in another tweet: “Breitbart News fired me for telling the truth about Islam and Muslim immigration,” she wrote.
3. Katie McHugh Was Known for Racist Remarks on Twitter and Has Since Made Her Twitter Account Private
In 2016, the Southern Poverty Law Center wrote an article about Breitbart’s increasing shift towards extremist ideology. “The outlet has undergone a noticeable shift toward embracing ideas on the extremist fringe of the conservative right. Racist ideas. Anti-Muslim and anti-immigrant ideas –– all key tenets making up an emerging racist ideology known as the ‘Alt-Right.'”
McHugh’s Twitter page is full of racist rants such as calling for a ban on Muslim immigration and stating, “Indian tribes never bothered to build any kind of civilization. They killed each other and chased bison. Yawn~” McHugh also follows a number of white nationalists on Twitter including RamZPaul, an Alt-Right YouTube sensation, English anti-Muslim activist Stephen Lennon and Andrew Auernheimer, a swastika-tattooed neo-Nazi hacker.
McHugh’s Twitter account @k_mcq is now private.
4. Katie McHugh Tweeted That ‘Slaves Built the Country As Much As Cows Built McDonald’s’ and that “Another Crusade Would Do a Lot of Good’
In 2017, Raw Story published a story about Katie McHugh, detailing several racist and anti-immigration tweets in 2015, shortly after she was hired by the right-leaning website Breitbart.
“British settlers built the USA. ‘Slaves’ built the country much as cows ‘built’ McDonald’s.” McHugh tweeted in 2015. In another tweet, she wrote: “Another Crusade would do a lot of good. Let’s turn Mecca into a strip mall!”
When she was hired at Breitbart, Editor in Chief Alex Marlow said McHugh would “aggressively and insightfully tell the stories that are shaping our political and cultural experience.” She was fired in 2017.
5. Katie McHugh Has Since Denounced the Alt-Right and Leaked the Emails From Stephen Miller to the Southern Poverty Law Center
According to the Southern Poverty Law Center, which published the emails from Katie McHugh on its Hatewatch website on Tuesday, Katie McHugh has denounced the alt-right movement.
“McHugh was 23 when she started at Breitbart and also became active in the anti-immigrant movement, frequently rubbing shoulders with white nationalists. McHugh was fired from Breitbart in 2017 after posting anti-Muslim tweets. She has since renounced the far right,” the Southern Poverty Law Center said.
McHugh told Hatewatch that Breitbart editors introduced her to Miller in 2015 with an understanding he would influence the direction of her reporting. For that reason, and because Miller would have regarded her as a fellow traveler of the anti-immigrant movement, McHugh sometimes starts conversations with Miller in the emails, seeking his opinion on news stories. Other times, Miller directly suggests story ideas to McHugh, or tells her how to shape Breitbart’s coverage. Periodically, Miller asks McHugh if he can speak to her by phone, taking conversations offline.
“What Stephen Miller sent to me in those emails has become policy at the Trump administration,” McHugh told Hatewatch.
In a recent interview with Buzzfeed, McHugh admitted her comments were racist. “I take responsibility for all my actions,” McHugh said. “Everything I said that was terrible was my fault.”