One of Donald Trump’s top advisers was secretly regained by a major political strategy firm after being forced to resign after a social media scandal, the Guardian can reveal. The Washington-based company, Teneo, wanted access to the top Republicans in the then president’s inner circle and to hide its work in progress.
Jason Miller – who remains close to Trump and who now serves as a senior adviser to the former president – also later appears to have deceived a Florida court about this employment situation, stating in a sworn statement that he could no longer obey a court order that forced him to pay child support due to an alleged “major financial setback” and he was effectively unemployed.
Miller cited his termination as a reason he was unable to meet the payments required by the court – although he secretly agreed to a new contract with Teneo that meant doing the same job for the same fee.
Miller resigned as managing editor of Teneo, the powerful corporate consulting firm, on June 21, 2019, after posting a series of obscenely tied tweets about Democratic Congressman Jerrold Nadler, chairman of the House’s judiciary committee.
“I parted ways with Teneo by mutual consent and I look forward to … my next step,” Miller said in a statement he provided to the New York Times and other media.
But Miller’s departure from Teneo was a farce. Confidential records not previously released from within Teneo show that on the same day Miller signed a formal “general separation and release agreement” from Teneo, he signed a new contract with the company, whereby Teneo agreed to secretly hire Miller as a consultant, for through a formed LLC, with the same base pay of almost $ 500,000 doing the same job.
The maneuver deftly allowed Teneo to let Miller continue to work for them, during a time when the largely Democratic company was eager to develop closer relations with the Trump White House – without having to pay the reputation and public relations costs of associating. openly to Miller and others in the administration.
Just three days after his resignation and the signing of his new employment contract with Teneo for the same base salary, according to the records of the state court in Miami-Dade County, Florida, Miller asked the court to “decrease and modify “his alimony payments and swore he could no longer pay alimony because” the petitioner’s unemployment is public knowledge “.
In 2016, when Miller, who was married, was the main spokesman for Trump’s presidential campaign, he had an extramarital affair with AJ Delgado, a fellow campaign adviser, resulting in the two of them having a child together.
Florida court records show that Miller made other misleading or false statements under oath in the event of his false dismissal in several instances. Not only did he falsely portray himself as unemployed, but he swore under oath that he would no longer be able to travel to Florida to attend court hearings related to the case, and asked that a trial on the matter be postponed until he could find work. As evidence of his supposed “major financial setback,” Miller cited newspaper articles reporting his resignation from the company.
Miller’s claims about pecuniary unhappiness were indeed fiction – he had never really lost his job or any part of his income. In fact, the transition from one position to another for Miller probably created an unexpected financial profit for him. Miller received $ 90,000 in severance from his first job when he transitioned to the new one, Teneo’s confidential records indicate, although he also didn’t miss a single paycheck for his job at Teneo because his new contract started the next day.
Under Miller’s new contract, which the Guardian was able to revise, Teneo agreed to pay Miller’s wholly-owned LLC about $ 500,000 a year for its services, the same base salary it received as Teneo’s managing partner.
To facilitate his ability to pay, Miller, with Teneo’s approval, agreed to start his own company, a Delaware corporation or LLC, called SHW partners, according to Delaware state records.
In fact, Delaware state records show that Miller’s new LLC was not officially formed until more than a month after Miller signed the new contract.
In a statement, Miller said: “When my employee / employer relationship with Teneo was severed, I faced the loss of … income due to the loss of bonuses and benefits. This financial setback has greatly reduced my income. “
He also denied that he cheated the Florida court or tried to shirk his responsibilities to care for his son: “I take my parental responsibilities seriously.” He further stated that he had paid “more than $ 100,000 in temporary full pension for his son, who supports the whole family, although I am not obliged to support his mother”.
Teneo declined to comment when he was approached several times by the Guardian.
The new disclosures come at a time when Miller, who was a senior political strategist in Trump’s 2020 reelection campaign, has come to play an increasingly large role in Trump’s life after the presidency and often serves as Trump’s spokesman. .
In the middle of the 2020 presidential campaign at the end of June last year, Axios political reporter Mike Allen described Miller as a “Trump whisperer” who was adept at reading “Trump’s verbal cues and knows how to use gossip. and news to get Trump’s thinking about different issues “before translating” Trump’s speech into campaign action. “
While the vast majority of Trump’s advisers during his presidency have changed – some because Trump is no longer president and now has a battered team, and others because they want to distance themselves from Trump after his incitement to the Capitol insurrection – Miller exploited this void to position himself even closer to Trump.
Miller, who is intensely loyal to Trump, had harsh words to former colleagues who publicly repudiated Trump after the insurrection.
“They are bottom feeders that are showing their true colors,” said Miller. “Democrats are still going to hate them, [and] Trump’s base will hate them for being a bouncy rat. “
It was the same kind of loyalty to Trump that led to Teneo’s false dismissal in June 2019. Wrongly believing that Nadler had disrespected then-White House communications director Hope Hicks, Miller, in a speech on Twitter, called Nadler, between other things, “fat and unpleasant”, “disgusting”, “Mr Muffin Top” and a “scoundrel”. The tweets were mixed with obscenities.
Teneo’s top officials thought the fight was damaging to their public image, leading to the company’s false separation from Miller.
Teneo is best known for his ties to the Democratic establishment. In large part, it was the creation of Doug Band, who became one of the main advisers to former President Bill Clinton after leaving the White House. Bill and Hillary Clinton later severed their ties to Band, claiming that Band and Teneo had exploited Band’s previous relationship with both for their personal gain.
With the election of Trump, Teneo found itself with no one in the company with close ties to Trump or his administration – hence the value it placed on hiring Miller’s services, even after its fight with Nadler.
For Miller, his new position as managing director of Teneo was a lucrative standard: after Trump was elected president, Miller was appointed director of communications for the White House. But after disclosing the extramarital affair with Delgado, Miller withdrew his name to serve in the new administration.
Miller also later admitted to several other sexual encounters with escorts and prostitutes in the course of a failed defamation lawsuit against the Gizmodo website. He also admitted in that failed case an affair with an adviser to Republican Senator Ted Cruz, whose presidential campaign Miller had previously worked on.
Miller told the Guardian that he regrets such past conduct and is now working to be a better man: “Every day I work to be a better husband and father and, by the grace of God, I have been given another opportunity to make my family proud again. .
But Miller’s deal to keep his new status at Teneo hidden quickly created legal problems in his private life.
On June 27, just three days after Miller signed his new contract with Teneo, Miller filed a sworn statement in court that “he has had a substantial change in financial circumstances. At the time, the petitioner (Miller) was in a much better financial position than he is today. “
As a result, Miller sought a reduction in the amount he had to pay in child support in court. He told the court: “Since temporary support is subject to change … [Miller] he is asking for the alimony he is currently paying to be reduced and the amount of his alimony obligation to be substantially changed. ”
Miller signed the statement directly below a line that read: “Under penalty of perjury, I declare that I have read the previous verified motion to decrease and modify temporary alimony and the facts stated therein are true.”
At the time, Miller was also scheduled to fly to Miami to testify on that July 2 case. Miller now claimed that he had no money to do so: “Unfortunately, the petitioner has just suffered a major financial setback that has caused a major setback in his professional and personal life.”
On July 15, 2019, Miller filed another motion in court, in which he affirmed under oath that “he has no financial capacity to comply [his] alimony “.
Citing his alleged unemployment, Miller also called for the trial scheduled to hear the case to be postponed, claiming that “he does not have the financial means to proceed.”
And in another motion filed the same day, Miller claimed that he no longer had the “financial capacity” to pay Delgaldo’s legal bills, as he had been required by the court to pay.
To demonstrate that he was unemployed, Miller cited news articles falsely reporting that he had resigned from Teneo. “The petitioner’s unemployment is public knowledge,” Miller wrote in a lawsuit. It was not said that these news were the result of reporters who were deceived by Miller.