Trump aide dismisses Statue of Liberty ‘huddled masses’ poem

Posted at 8:54 PM, Aug 02, 2017
and last updated 2017-08-02 20:54:55-04

(AP) — A poem at the Statue of Liberty that is a national symbol for the country’s embrace of immigrants became the topic of a rancorous exchange at a White House news conference.

Senior White House aide Stephen Miller told reporters Wednesday that the poem written by Emma Lazarus about the “huddled masses” is not part of the original Statue of Liberty.

WASHINGTON, DC – AUGUST 02: Senior Advisor to the President for Policy Stephen Miller talks to reporters about President Donald Trump’s support for creating a ‘merit-based immigration system’ in the James Brady Press Briefing Room at the White House August 2, 2017 in Washington, DC. Earlier in the day President Donald Trump signed bipartisan legislation into law placing new sanctions on Russia and reducing his ability to lift the sanctions on Moscow. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Miller says the Statue of Liberty is a “symbol of American liberty lighting the world” and suggested the statue had little to do with immigrants.

Miller was responding to a question from a CNN reporter asking if the Trump administration’s new merit-based green card proposal was keeping with U.S. tradition.

The National Park Services says Lazarus’ sonnet depicts the statue as a symbol of immigration and opportunity.