In one tweet, Katie Waldman was announced as Vice President Mike Pence’s new press secretary and outed as White House senior adviser Stephen Miller’s girlfriend.
Waldman steps into the Pence role October 1 after serving as communications director for Sen. Martha McSally of Arizona, NBC News reported. Before that, the 27-year-old was the deputy press secretary at the Department of Homeland Security, acting as the public defender of the Trump administration’s policy of separating families at the U.S.-Mexico border. “She’s pro-Trump and that checks all the boxes,” a senior administration official who worked with Waldman told NBC.
For Pence, and, presumably for Miller. Here’s why:
Waldman and Miller are both trying to harden the U.S.’s immigration policies — it must be beshert. Just like his girlfriend, Miller, who is Jewish, advocated for the zero-tolerance policies at the U.S.-Mexico border, even admitting it was a “simple decision” to separate families.
Walden once described people seeking asylum across the border as a “violent mob of migrants.” Her Twitter cover photo is of the border. Miller, for his part, reportedly found joy in photos of detainees. He would be “happy” with no new refugees in the country, he said, and has been a key figure behind President Trump’s immigration crackdown.
Waldman, like her boyfriend, has withstood negative media attention. In 2012, when she was a student politician at the University of Florida, she was reviled for engaging in dirty tricks; she threw away hundreds of copies of the school’s newspaper the night before student government elections. The lead story had been the head football coach’s endorsement of the party she was running against.
But they both have staying power. Miller is one of the chaotic Trump administration’s only survivors, and Waldman emerged triumphant after getting caught throwing those newspapers away. She remained in student government and even won the nomination for a new position.
Alyssa Fisher is a writer at the Forward. Email her at email@example.com, or follow her on Twitter at @alyssalfisher