Schlemiel-in-Chief

Number 12 in a series

If only the United States Congress had as much energy as this story. Presidential Senior Advisor Steve Miller continues giving legs to the tale of massive voter fraud in last November’s elections. In an interview on ABC’s This Week with George Stephanopoulos, Miller asserted that massive voter fraud cost Donald Trump an electoral win in New Hampshire. The recorded conversation might take your breath away:

STEPHANOPOULOS: You say that no one questioned; it was questioned by the Republican chair of the House Oversight Committee, Jason Chaffetz. So that is hardly no one.

Let me move on, though, to the question of voter fraud as well. President Trump again this week suggested in a meeting with senators that thousands of illegal voters were bused from Massachusetts to New Hampshire and that’s what caused his defeat in the state of New Hampshire, also the defeat of Senator Kelly Ayotte.

That has provoked a response from a member of the Federal Election Commission, Ellen Weintraub, who says, “I call upon the president to immediately share New Hampshire voter fraud evidence so that his allegations may be investigated promptly.”

Do have that evidence?

MILLER: I have actually haven’t worked before on a campaign in New Hampshire. I can tell you that this issue of busing voters into New Hampshire is widely known by anyone who’s worked in New Hampshire politics. It’s very real. It’s very serious. This morning, on this show, is not the venue for me to lay out all the evidence.

But I can tell you this, voter fraud is a serious problem in this country. You have millions of people who are registered in two states or who are dead who are registered to vote. And you have 14 percent of non-citizens, according to academic research, at a minimum, are registered to vote, which is an astonishing statistic.

STEPHANOPOULOS: You can’t make a — hold on a second. You just claimed again that there was illegal voting in New Hampshire, people bused in from the state of Massachusetts.

Do you have any evidence to back that up?

MILLER: I’m saying anybody — George, go to New Hampshire. Talk to anybody who has worked in politics there for a long time. Everybody is aware of the problem in New Hampshire with respect to —

STEPHANOPOULOS: I’m asking you as the White House senior — hold on a second. I’m asking use as the White House senior policy adviser. The president made a statement, saying he was the victim of voter fraud, people are being bused from —

MILLER: And the president — the president — the president was.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Do you have any evidence?

MILLER: — issue — if this is an issue that interests you, then we can talk about it more in the future. And we now have our government is beginning to get stood up. But we have a Department of Justice and we have more officials.

An issue of voter fraud is something we’re going to be looking at very seriously and very hard.

But the reality is, is that we know for a fact, you have massive numbers of non-citizens registered to vote in this country. Nobody disputes that. And many, many highly qualified people, like Kris Kobach, the Kansas secretary of state, have looked deeply into this issue and have confirmed it to be true and have put together evidence.

And I suggest you invite Kris Kobach onto your show and he can walk you through some of the evidence of voter fraud —

STEPHANOPOULOS: You have — you have —

MILLER: — in greater detail.

STEPHANOPOULOS: — just for the record, you have provided absolutely no evidence. The president’s made a statement.

MILLER: The White House has provided enormous evidence with respect to voter fraud, with respect to people being registered in more than one state, dead people voting, non-citizens being registered to vote. George, it is a fact and you will not deny it, that there are massive numbers of non-citizens in this country, who are registered to vote. That is a scandal.

We should stop the presses. And as a country, we should be aghast about the fact that you have people who have no right to vote in this country, registered to vote, canceling out the franchise of lawful citizens of this country.

That’s the story we should be talking about. And I’m prepared to go on any show, anywhere, anytime, and repeat it and say the President of the United States is correct 100 percent.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Well, you just repeated, though, you just made those declarations. But, for the record, you have provided zero evidence that the president was the victim of massive voter fraud in New Hampshire. You provided zero evidence —

MILLER: Anyone who’s worked —

STEPHANOPOULOS: — hold on.

MILLER: — politics is familiar —

STEPHANOPOULOS: You have provided zero evidence that the president’s claim that he would have won the general — the popular vote if 3 million to 5 million illegal immigrants hadn’t voted, zero evidence for either one of those claims.

MILLER: Well, it’s —

STEPHANOPOULOS: Thanks a lot for joining us this morning.

MILLER: — that non-citizen voting issues, pervasive and widespread, and we are going to protect our country from voter fraud. We’re going to protect our borders from terrorism. And we’re going to protect innocent men, women and children from violent criminal illegal immigrants that need to be removed from this country.

And our country will create jobs, safety, prosperity and security, particularly for disenfranchised working people of every background, faith and ethnicity in this country.

STEPHANOPOULOS: You can start by providing evidence to back up your claims. Thanks for joining us this morning.

MILLER: Thank you.

“Thank you.” Wow! What an incredibly civil note to end a dialog that might expect to involve the throwing of chairs. What happened is Miller continued to repeat fabricated stories about voter fraud in New Hampshire, and George Stephanopoulos repeatedly called Miller a liar.

When asked for evidence of people being bused into New Hampshire from neighboring states, particularly Massachusetts, Miller’s prime time response was the massive, “I have actually haven’t worked before on a campaign in New Hampshire. I can tell you that this issue of busing voters into New Hampshire is widely known by anyone who’s worked in New Hampshire politics.”

“Widely known by anyone who’s worked in New Hampshire politics?” That should be easy to verify. Let’s have one of those people come on air and vouch for this alternative fact. This person is going to sit there in the studio with George Stephanopoulos and say, “I followed this bus as it rolled along I-95, leaving Massachusetts and stopping at a New Hampshire polling place. Then I saw people unload from the bus and go inside. I watched as these people from Massachusetts illegally voted in  New Hampshire.” That’s what this “anyone who’s worked in New Hampshire politics” might be expected to say.

No, they won’t. They won’t, because it didn’t happen. When pressed and pressed he will continue to be, Miller will never be able to identify such a person “who’s worked in New Hampshire politics” to come forward and demonstrate he has observed this happening. It would appear that Miller is becoming a master of the dodge, if he is not already. His history is telling:

Miller grew up in a liberal-leaning Jewish family in Santa Monica, California. Though his parents were Democrats, Miller became a conservative after reading Guns, Crime, and Freedom, a book by National Rifle Association CEO Wayne LaPierre. While attending Santa Monica High School, Miller began appearing on conservative talk radio. In 2002, at the age of sixteen, Miller wrote a letter to the editor of The Santa Monica Evening Outlook, in which he stated that “Osama Bin Laden would feel very welcome at Santa Monica High School.” Miller invited conservative activist David Horowitz to speak, first at the high school and later at Duke University, and afterwards denounced the fact that neither of the centers would authorize the event.

Miller “became a conservative after reading Guns, Crime, and Freedom.” And that is amazing. From a left-leaning upbringing to a fiery right-winger in one book. I’m thinking the young Mr. Miller might have been way too impressionable, but it’s only a guess. Anyhow, the book should be worth a look, especially  if it can turn an open mind so thoroughly. I checked with Amazon, but the book, co-authored by Tom Clancy, came out in 1994 and appears to be out of print. There is no Kindle edition, but you can get a paperback for one cent. You have to pay for shipping and sales tax on top of that.

A book that is still in print is Guns, Freedom, and Terrorism by LaPierre. It’s available in Kindle for 99 cents (plus) tax, and there is no charge to ship it electronically to your computer or Kindle reader. I have taken the opportunity to order a copy for myself, and readers will get to see a review before the year is out.

That leaves Mr. Miller, wandering the maze of truth and alternative fact. From Wikipedia comes additional detail:

  • He worked as press secretary for Michelle Bachmann.
  • He worked for “Alabama Senator Jeff Sessions” and became communications director.
  • Yesterday he “appeared on ABC’s This Week, where he criticized the federal courts for blocking Trump’s travel ban…” He famously stated, “We have a judiciary that has taken far too much power and become in many cases a supreme branch of government. Our opponents, the media and the whole world will soon see as we begin to take further actions, that the powers of the president to protect our country are very substantial and will not be questioned.”

This last statement by Miller caught legal experts off guard. Again from Wikipedia, Ilya Shapiro (Cato Institute) remarked that these “comments could undercut public confidence in the judiciary.” David Ohlin, professor at Cornell Law School, “said that the statement showed ‘an absurd lack of appreciation for the separation of powers’ set forth in the Constitution).”

Steve Miller may not be the right person for the Trump administration to set out as its public face. His difficulty with the facts is starting to challenge that of his boss. We can, however, expect to see more of him.

And we’ll have fun fun fun
Till daddy takes the T-bird away.

Keep reading.

 

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One thought on “Schlemiel-in-Chief

  1. Pingback: Schlemiel-in-Chief | Skeptical Analysis

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