Stephen Miller Doubles Down on Trump’s Promise to Shut Down the Government

The president wants $5 billion for his border wall by next week—or else.

Ron Sachs/ZUMA

Let our journalists help you make sense of the noise: Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily newsletter and get a recap of news that matters.

Top White House aide Stephen Miller made a combative Face the Nation appearance Sunday, doubling down on President Donald Trump’s promise to shut down the government if Democrats don’t approve funding for a wall spanning the United States’ 1,933-mile border with Mexico in the next week.

“Absolutely,” Miller affirmed when asked if a government shutdown was on the table.

The border wall holds great symbolic significance to Trump and his most fervent supporters after it featured loudly in his 2016 campaign. The cost of such a wall would be astronomically expensive—one internal government report obtained by Reuters put the price tag at more than $21 billion. Trump has been demanding Democrats approve $5 billion for the border wall in an upcoming spending package.

While Democrats have argued the wall is expensive, unnecessary, and unlikely to deter illegal immigration or smuggling, recent Border Patrol crackdowns on immigrants and asylum seekers have shed light on the dangers already faced by people attempting to cross into the United States.

In early December, a 7-year-old girl identified as Jakelin Caal Maquin died of dehydration in federal custody after traveling with her father from an impoverished region of Guatemala. Her death has sparked outrage among immigrant rights advocates and some Democrats, who say it is symbolic of an already dangerous system that would be made even more deadly if the wall is built.

DOES IT FEEL LIKE POLITICS IS AT A BREAKING POINT?

Headshot of Editor in Chief of Mother Jones, Clara Jeffery

It sure feels that way to me, and here at Mother Jones, we’ve been thinking a lot about what journalism needs to do differently, and how we can have the biggest impact.

We kept coming back to one word: corruption. Democracy and the rule of law being undermined by those with wealth and power for their own gain. So we're launching an ambitious Mother Jones Corruption Project to do deep, time-intensive reporting on systemic corruption, and asking the MoJo community to help crowdfund it.

We aim to hire, build a team, and give them the time and space needed to understand how we got here and how we might get out. We want to dig into the forces and decisions that have allowed massive conflicts of interest, influence peddling, and win-at-all-costs politics to flourish.

It's unlike anything we've done, and we have seed funding to get started, but we're looking to raise $500,000 from readers by July when we'll be making key budgeting decisions—and the more resources we have by then, the deeper we can dig. If our plan sounds good to you, please help kickstart it with a tax-deductible donation today.

Thanks for reading—whether or not you can pitch in today, or ever, I'm glad you're with us.

Signed by Clara Jeffery

Clara Jeffery, Editor-in-Chief

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest