White House Senior Advisor Stephen Miller, the 31-year-old architect of Trump’s first Muslim ban, has steadfastly developed a reputation as a dreadful public speaker. Not only that, but he’s known for unfortunate perspectives that have apparently carried on for decades. After all, Miller did lose a high school election to Mark “The Cobrasnake” Hunter, who later found fame as a beloved hipster photographer after wiping the floor with Miller’s racially charged campaign speech. So, it may come as no huge surprise to learn that young Miller also “joked” about torture in high school.
Vice dug up this old footage (which appears to hail from Splash News) that the outlet sources to approximately 2003. Miller spoke about the plight of Iraqi citizens, who he hopes will survive, and then things get darker when he talks about dictator Saddam Hussein and his associates:
“I think the ideal solution should be to cut off their fingers … I don’t think it’s necessary to kill them entirely … We’re not a barbaric people, we respect life. Therefore torture is the way to go. Because tortured people can live. Torture is the celebration of life and human dignity. And I only hope that many of my peers and people who will be leading this country will appreciate the value and respect that torture shows to other cultures.”
As the above burst of bonkers ideology spilled from Miller’s lips, his audience of peers laughed along appreciatively. At around the 1:00 minute mark, he then drops a claim that he’s “pretty sexy” as a 17-year-old guy. (Was that a joke, too?) If you can continue to listen after that point, you’re only torturing yourself. Next!