Defend what some consider indefensible
Miller has grown accustomed to being easy prey for the American “liberal” left. After initially being announced as the new White House communications director during the presidential transition, he was forced to step down days later due to an affair with campaign staffer Arlene J Delgado, who produced a son in July 2017.
That year he became a rare center-right voice on CNN, but quit the job in 2018 after he was accused of drugging a pregnant former mistress, known only as Doe, with an abortifacient – a assertion which he strenuously denies.
Although happy to admit to making “big mistakes” in the deal with Delgado, he points out, “Just to be clear on Doe’s allegation, it turned out to be completely false.”
Although Miller lost two libel suits over the publication of the allegations, he and the woman he allegedly forced to have an abortion told a Florida court that they had never even met and that the allegations were ” totally made up”. He remains married to his wife, Kelly, with whom he has two daughters.
Still, the episode speaks to the vitriol Miller faced in his defense of Trump — defense of what some consider the indefensible.
I wonder why this highly effective communications guru, former partner and executive vice president of the respected Jamestown Associates, would even consider fighting for Trump after he appeared on the 2016 campaign trail, the Republican nominee joked to catch women “by the p—-“.
Angered by Bill Clinton beating George HW Bush in the Oval Office in 1992, Miller entered American politics two years later as an aide to U.S. Senator Slade Gorton of Washington and carved out an impressive career as the one of the Republicans’ most effective campaigners, helping elect Ric Keller to represent Florida, Tom Coburn as Senator from Oklahoma and Mark Sanford as Governor of Southern California. He also acted as deputy communications director for Rudi Giuliani’s 2008 presidential campaign, although he admits the former New York mayor has “had a tough time” lately.
“I think everyone makes comments that they wish they could take back,” Miller says. “President Trump described it as a locker room talk. I’ve heard much worse in the locker room.
I remind Miller that he himself criticized Trump in a series of tweets while working for his Republican rival, Sen. Ted Cruz, in early 2016, before switching sides.
Miller smiles. “When you are in an opposing team, of course, you hit hard and you defend your candidate. You attack the other, that’s part of the game.”
Now Miller is trying to play the tech giants at their own game with Gettr – but it hasn’t all been smooth sailing. The site, which launched last June, ran into problems soon after it went live, including internet trolls posting content that violates the terms of service, users flooding it with pornography, and the brief hack of some prominent accounts. Concerns were then raised about the prevalence of extreme content on the platform, including racism, anti-Semitism and terrorist propaganda.
Miller denies that Gettr is a haven for extremists. “We have a smart and robust moderation platform using both an AI component and human moderators. And we don’t allow, for example, racial or religious slurs on the platform. We can’t not host illegal behavior. The site recently removed a white supremacist from the platform, he says. “Our ideological North Star is to protect people’s freedom of expression. That in no way means that every point of view will be “welcomed with a warm embrace. If you come in with a crazy ideology, it’s not ‘puff football’ – I’m sure people will communicate that to you.”
He still believes Trump will join Gettr at some point. “It’s just a matter of time. We have a passionate, well-built audience that wants to hear their point of view.
But it didn’t help that the platform was backed by Chinese billionaire Guo Wengui — or that Joe Rogan, who presents the world’s most listened to podcast, denounced Gettr a few weeks after joining.
There’s also the not insignificant fact that Gettr’s goal of 10 million followers by the end of the year is dwarfed by Twitter’s estimated 330 million monthly active users worldwide.
Still, Miller is optimistic about the future, especially after launching Truth Social, which he says drove traffic to his own site.
“We know that 20% of Trump’s domestic supporters in the United States left social media when he was kicked off the platforms. [Truth Social] is going to get more Americans off the sidelines and back on social media.
“At Gettr, we saw 135% growth when this happened. Every time President Trump talks about social media, we see growth on our platform. The pendulum on free speech hangs in the center- right now.
For Miller, the goal is clearly to end the cancel culture that has dominated social media in recent years. “Working for President Trump in 2020, I saw firsthand the political discrimination that was changing social media in the United States as we had traditionally known it,” he recalled.
“I think in 2016 President Trump snuck into the big tech elites. Many progressives accuse [Facebook’s Mark] Zuckerberg and [Twitter founder Jack] Dorsey to get Trump elected. “If it wasn’t for you pesky kids with your social media, we would have beaten Trump in 2016.” So in 2020 the goalposts changed – but it wasn’t just about Trump.
“We’ve also seen big tech and social media companies sentence people to digital prison for saying the virus came from a lab in Wuhan, which – spoiler alert – it did. We don’t know if it was man-made or dragged by a lazy worker, but it is from a lab in Wuhan.
The straw that broke the camel’s back for Miller appears to have been the Hunter Biden laptop scandal, when the mainstream media appeared to turn a blind eye to the president’s son who was allegedly selling access to the White House…to Ukrainians. “In my mind, something had to be done, even before President Trump himself was de-platformed,” he says.