Trump eyes top policy aide for comms director role: Official

This article is more than 12 months old

WASHINGTON The White House may appoint a senior policy adviser with hardline views on immigration, who recently sparred with reporters in a televised briefing, as its new communications director, says a senior administration official.

Mr Stephen Miller, a top aide and speechwriter for President Donald Trump, is a candidate to lead the White House's communications team after a series of personnel changes since Mr Trump became president.

The official did not say how many people were on the short list, but the Axios news site reported that Mr Miller is not the top contender.

Last week, Mr Trump ousted White House communications chief Anthony Scaramucci over an obscene tirade to a New Yorker magazine writer only 10 days after he was appointed, which retired general John Kelly, the new Chief of Staff who sources said was seeking to impose order on a White House riven with factions and backbiting, is said to have recommended.

In June, Mr Michael Dubke resigned from the communications director post and since then, there has been a revolving door, with Mr Sean Spicer serving as acting director until Mr Scaramucci was named.

Mr Miller, who has been a top adviser to Mr Trump since the presidential campaign last year, is a former aide to Attorney-General Jeff Sessions when he was in the Senate.

He was one of the authors of Mr Trump's controversial proposed ban on visitors from a half dozen Muslim-majority nations, which has triggered protests and a slew of legal challenges.

On Thursday, Mr Miller briefed reporters at the White House on Mr Trump's support for legislation that would overhaul the current immigration system by creating a merit-based system for issuing visas, favouring younger immigrants with advanced degrees.

He sparred with a CNN reporter who asked whether such a policy was potentially racist and ran counter to American values, and accused the reporter of having a "cosmopolitan bias". - REUTERS

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