What Happened Between Jake Tapper and Stephen Miller Off-Air Was Even Better Than What You Saw

There’s been a lot of talk about what happened on CNN between State Of The Union host Jake Tapper and Stephen Miller of the Trump Administration. The interview, as my colleague Streiff pointed out yesterday, did little more than confirm biases.


However, what sealed the deal for me this morning was reading the off-air transcripts, which were (oddly) posted by a CBS News producer.

Here’s the part that’s got most people talking.

Tapper: Stephen. Ok. Thanks for coming in.

Miller: You should be ashamed of yourself. Honestly.

Tapper: This is the reason they don’t put you out on TV. Okay? This is the reason.

Miller: No, Jake. You brought me on to talk about the Camp David Summit and you –

Tapper: First of all, I had plenty of questions about immigration, but you kept telling the same story over and over.

Miller: Because you kept talking about the salacious –

(Tape takes a hit)

There’s more, and I suggest you read it. But, Tapper’s not wrong here. Miller was not doing well, and given the off-air talk, it’s pretty clear he was sent to more or less “filibuster” (as Tapper put it) the Wolff book talk. However, that doesn’t make for good TV, so Tapper cut him off.

Miller just does not come across as bright enough to be handling these types of interviews, and a smarter man might have been able to handle the situation better. The problem here is that he not only fumbles on the air, but the off-air whining about his treatment just shows a lack of maturity in this situation.


If you watch the interview, he appears to give Miller the time, but Miller didn’t handle the responsibility very well. I don’t necessarily like the idea of cutting an interview short, but I can certainly understand needing to get on with the show when an interview is going nowhere.

What I loved most, however, is just how… Trumpian Miller comes across as. He immediately resorts to the words “unfair” and “horrible” and makes excuses for himself. He comes across as the average Trump defender, with nothing new or original to add. He’s just out there to defend in an unoriginal and frankly uninspiring way.

After all, Trump only hires the best people.


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