White House senior policy advisor Stephen Miller got into a heated exchange with a CNN reporter Wednesday over a Republican proposal to limit legal immigration, with Miller calling one of Acosta’s statements “outrageous,” “ignorant,” “insulting,” and “foolish.”
Miller took the podium at Wednesday’s White House press briefing to discuss the Raise Act, which would reduce the rate of legal immigration in the United States, according to the administration.
CNN’s Jim Acosta asked Miller whether the bill is in violation of the United States principle to “give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses,” quoting Emma Lazarus’ sonnet which is etched onto the Statue of Liberty.
“The poem that you’re referring to was added later,” Miller said dismissively.
Acosta then questioned the idea of requiring immigrants to learn English before they come to the United States, asking, “Are we just going to bring in people from Great Britain and Australia?”
“I have to honestly say, I am shocked at your statement that you think that only people from Great Britain and Australia would know English,” Miller fired back. “It reveals your cosmopolitan bias to a shocking agree…This is an amazing moment.”
Miller told Acosta the notion that only people from Great Britain and Australia would know English is “so insulting to millions of hardworking immigrants who do speak English from all over the world,” asking, “Jim, have you honestly never met an immigrant from another country who speaks English outside of Great Britain and Australia?”
Miller added that his statement was “one of the most outrageous, insulting, ignorant and foolish things you’ve ever said, and for you that’s still a really…”
Miller to reporter: “This is an amazing moment… The notion that you think that this is a racist bill is so wrong and so insulting.” pic.twitter.com/VhhgO4YtKL
— NBC News (@NBCNews) August 2, 2017
Miller concluded by saying he was sorry that things got heated.
“I apologize, Jim, if things got heated, but you did make some pretty rough insinuations,” he said.