White House staffers were “high-fiving” Stephen Miller, senior policy advisor to President Trump, after his combative exchange with CNN reporter Jim Acosta during Wednesday’s daily press briefing, says Trump adviser Sebastian Gorka.
Gorka was asked about the White House’s response to the tense Miller-Acosta battle during an interview Thursday morning on WMAL’s “Mornings on the Mall.”
“How is the White House reacting to that exchange today?” Daily Caller editor and WMAL host Vince Coglianese asked.
“We were high-fiving with Stephen afterwards because it was a masterful, masterful example of how we are interested in the facts and the truth and the prosperity of the nation and how we have to deal with grandstanding reporters who think it’s their press briefing and not the White House’s,” Gorka responded.
During Wednesday’s briefing, Acosta quizzed Miller on a new Trump-backed proposal to enact a “merit-based” immigration system. English-speaking and high-skilled workers will receive priority under the proposed system.
Acosta took issue with the proposal, including its emphasis on English speaking capability.
“Aren’t you trying to change what it means to be an immigrant coming into this country if you’re telling them, you have to speak English when they get here?” Acosta asked.
“Well, first of all, right now, it’s a requirement that to be naturalized you have to speak English, so the notion that speaking English wouldn’t be a part of immigration systems would be very ahistorical,” Miller said to Acosta.
When Acosta suggested that the language priority would benefit immigrants from the United Kingdom and Australia, Miller blasted the reporter.
“I have to say, I am shocked at your statement that you think that only people from Great Britain and Australia would know English. It’s all — it reveals your cosmopolitan bias to a shocking degree that in your mind — no, this is an amazing moment,” said Miller.
Asked whether Acosta’s behavior will force the White House to reconsider holding its on-camera press briefings, Gorka said that he doubts the incident will warrant a policy change.
“I doubt that’s something..I don’t think Jim Acosta is that powerful that we’d reconsider our internal policies because of one individual’s bloviating,” Gorka said.
“It is a sad indictment. We are there to serve the American people, not Jim Acosta. It is not the Jim Acosta show, it is the White House press briefing,” he added.