Stephen Miller isn’t popular — and apparently, such isn’t new. The adviser to President Donald Trump has pushed some of his most repugnant policy proposals, like banning millions upon millions of Muslims from entering the United States and separating undocumented immigrant families at the U.S. border with Mexico. He originally worked alongside fellow fierce ideologue Steve Bannon in the Trump administration on projects along these lines, but Bannon got the boot last year, having proved, apparently, too difficult to work with.
Now, a former elementary school teacher who handled Miller many years ago has come forward to offer her own account of the controversial adviser while, in the face of numerous other departures, he still remains in his post.
According to the teacher, Nikki Fiske, during the time she shared with Miller in the early 1990s at Santa Monica, California’s Franklin Elementary School, she was troubled by his social behavior — or lack thereof. This concern stemmed in part from the fact that a much younger Miller ate glue, Fiske explains.
Her account to Benjamin Svetkey as published in The Hollywood Reporter reads, in part:
‘Do you remember that character in Peanuts, the one called Pig Pen, with the dust cloud and crumbs flying all around him? That was Stephen Miller at 8. I was always trying to get him to clean up his desk — he always had stuff mashed up in there. He was a strange dude. I remember he would take a bottle of glue — we didn’t have glue sticks in those days — and he would pour the glue on his arm, let it dry, peel it off and then eat it.’
The concern didn’t stop there. Fiske added:
‘I remember being concerned about him — not academically. He was OK with that, though I could never read his handwriting. But he had such strange personal habits. He was a loner and isolated and off by himself all the time.’
The account proves an ignoble addition to the already grim legacy of Stephen Miller.
Years later, after his time in Fiske’s third grade classroom, he made waves for a speech delivered to the student body at his high school in which he bemoaned having to pick up his trash. During some of those years, he established himself as antagonistic towards minorities and eventually staunchly conservative, too, which made him a political minority in Santa Monica, where at one point in recent years, only 15 percent of registered voters were Republican.
From there, he eventually launched a career in Republican politics, working for officials including the contentious Michelle Bachmann and none other than Jeff Sessions, the current U.S. Attorney General and former U.S. Senator from Alabama.
He’s faced other scrutiny from individuals involved in his past, including Santa Monica Rabbi Neil Comess-Daniels, who quipped:
‘Honestly, Mr Miller, you’ve set back the Jewish contribution to making the world spiritually whole through your arbitrary division of these desperate people. The actions that you now encourage President Trump to take make it obvious to me that you didn’t get my, or our, Jewish message.’
The scrutiny is unlikely to stop anytime soon.
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