Senior White House adviser Stephen Miller said voters have a choice between a leader who will seek to strengthen America's western values or someone who will morph the country into Venezuela, during an interview on "Fox News Sunday."
Chris Wallace mentioned Trump's ongoing feud with the four progressive congresswomen known as "the squad" and asked why he thought their incendiary comments were any worse than Trump's public statements.
"It’s really the heart of the debate that we're having in this country right now," Miller said. "Anybody who's running for office, right, left, or center, always points out where they think America can do better -- where they think America needs to go. But there is a fundamental distinction between people who think that we need to lean into, and strengthen America’s core values, whether it be our constitutional values, the rule of law, the principles of western civilization -- or people who think that we basically need to turn America into Venezuela."
Wallace interrupted Miller to discuss the merits of having a free marketplace of ideas, and he responded by reiterating the massive political differences between the president and his opponents.
"What I’m saying is, there’s a canyon-sized difference between saying that we need to have better enforcement of our immigration laws to protect U.S. citizens, that we need to have better trade deals to end the deindustrialization --," Miller said before Wallace jumped back in.
"That isn't what I’m talking about. That’s not what I’m talking about," Wallace replied.
"The president ran a campaign that can be summarized in two words: 'America first.' There’s a huge difference between 'America first' and an ideology that runs down America," Miller shot back.
Wallace said part of Trump's 2016 campaign involved promising to prosecute and imprison Hillary Clinton and encouraging the "lock her up" chant, but Miller said the president's only concern has been putting America first.
"The core element of the president’s philosophy is 'America first.' Saying that America needs to improve to get closer to an 'America first' ideal, as the president did as a candidate, criticizing [former President] Obama, criticizing our trade deals, our foreign policy deals, our immigration policies, is out of love for America. Saying, as Representative [Alexandria] Ocasio-Cortez did, that illegal immigrants are in effect more American than Americans, is fundamentally an anti-American statement," Miller said.
Ocasio-Cortez had told MSNBC's Rachel Maddow following a speech from President Trump this past January: "The women and children on the border that are trying to seek refuge and seek opportunity in the United States of America with nothing but the shirt on their backs are acting more American than any person who seeks to keep them out ever will be."
Fox News' Chris Wallace contributed to this report.