Sparks flew between senior White House advisor Stephen Miller and CNN’s Jim Acosta during the White House press briefing on Wednesday, as the two waged a near seven-minute battle over the President’s new merit-based immigration system.
The fireworks began after Acosta accused the administration’s new immigration guidelines of violating the “spirit” of America; contradicting the poem inscribed on the State of Liberty that welcomed the world’s “huddled masses.”
“What the President is proposing here does not sound like it’s in keeping with American tradition when it comes to immigration,” said Acosta. “Aren’t you trying to change what it means to be an immigrant coming into this country… Can’t people learn to speak English when they get here?”
“Jim let’s talk about this,” Miller fired back. “In 1970 when we let in 300,000 people a year, was that violating or not violating the Statue of Liberty ‘Law of the Land?’ In the 1990s, when it was half a million a year was it violating or not violating the Statue of Liberty [poem]?”
“Tell me what years meet Jim Acosta’s definition of the Statue of Liberty poem ‘Law of the Land?'” said Miller.
The Presidential adviser and Acosta then got into a heated exchange, with the CNN correspondent slamming the administration for the new guidelines as well as the border wall.
“Surely Jim, you don’t actually think that a wall affects green card policy? You couldn’t possibly believe that, do you?” asked a shocked Miller. “Does CNN not know the difference between green card policy and illegal immigration?”
Watch the fiery exchange above.