Aide behind travel ban said penning Trump speeches to Middle East
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Aide behind travel ban said penning Trump speeches to Middle East

Stephen Miller, who also wrote a campaign speech criticized for 'anti-Semitic overtones, reportedly writing presidential addresses to be delivered in Riyadh, Jerusalem

Stephen Miller, White House senior adviser for policy, at a session on law enforcement held at the White House, Feb. 7, 2017. (Andrew Harrer – Pool/Getty Images via JTA)
Stephen Miller, White House senior adviser for policy, at a session on law enforcement held at the White House, Feb. 7, 2017. (Andrew Harrer – Pool/Getty Images via JTA)

A White House policy adviser who helped formulate a failed travel ban, and penned a controversial speech delivered by US President Donald Trump panned for anti-Semitic overtones, is reportedly drafting the main speeches that Trump will give on his visit to the Middle East next week.

Stephen Miller, who helped formulate the US administration’s controversial travel ban and also wrote Trump’s “America first” Inauguration address, is penning keynote speeches that Trump will deliver in Israel and Saudi Arabia, CNN reported on Wednesday.

The speech in Riyadh, during Trump’s first leg of his trip, was a late addition to the itinerary, and is intended to be “an inspiring yet direct speech on the need to confront radical ideology and the president’s hopes for a peaceful vision of Islam to dominate across the world,” according to National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster.

Miller, 31, is also said to be writing the speech that Trump had originally hoped to give in Israel on the ancient archaeological hilltop fortress of Masada but which was subsequently relocated to Jerusalem’s Israel Museum.

On Wednesday, new US envoy to Israel David Friedman told the Israel Hayom daily that “the planned speech will be very positive and Israelis will feel good about it.”

US President Donald Trump, right, listens as Army Lt. Gen. HR McMaster talks at Trump's Mar-a-Lago estate in Palm Beach, Floride, February 20, 2017. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)
US President Donald Trump, right, listens as Army Lt. Gen. HR McMaster talks at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate in Palm Beach, Floride, February 20, 2017. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

Miller is reportedly getting input from others who are involved in the trip, including McMaster, Trump’s son-in-law and adviser Jared Kushner and deputy national security adviser Dina Powell.

Miller, along with chief strategist Steve Bannon, was the architect of the ban which was intended to bar Muslims from emigrating to the US. The ban, signed almost as soon as Trump entered office, was intended to restrict immigration from seven Muslim-majority nations. Courts have struck down different versions of the travel ban three times.

Miller, who is Jewish, is also credited with writing most of Trump’s planned speeches during the campaign and since Trump has taken the Oval office, including a controversial October address in which he spoke of Democratic rival Hillary Clinton conducting secret meetings with international bankers to destroy US sovereignty.

Trump’s remarks were criticized at the time by the Anti-Defamation League for “rhetoric and tropes that historically have been used against Jews and still spur antisemitism,” and others noted its similarities to the anti-Semitic tract “The Protocols of the Elders of Zion.”

That text is a famous anti-Semitic forgery that promulgated the conspiracy theory that a Jewish-run cabal of global financial elites controlled world affairs.

Other noted speeches that Miller crafted include Trump’s inauguration speech, which was marked by the intonation of the “America first” slogan which has xenophobic and anti-Semitic roots.

Eric Cortellessa contributed to this report.

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