Homeland Security Chief Was Close To Resigning After Trump Tirade

Posted May 12, 2018

According to The New York Times, Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen nearly resigned Wednesday after a heated argument in which Trump allegedly berated her during a Cabinet meeting focused on immigration.

Haberman's tweet came in response to a tweet by fellow New York Times reporter Julie Davis, who explained that Nielsen's resignation threat had been "a long time in coming" because "Nielsen and Trump have clashed often and she has been a frequent target of his freewheeling immigration rants". As the head of the Department of Homeland Security, Nielsen is in charge of the 20,000 employees who work for Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

According to those familiar with the admonishment, Trump was unhappy with Nielsen's handling of border security; one source told the Times that the president went on a long tirade about Nielsen's lack of ability to tighten the U.S. -Mexico border and prevent undocumented immigrants from entering the country.

The president's eruption was witnessed by Cabinet members plus a number of senior White House officials - including counselor Kellyanne Conway, advisers Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump, press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders, immigration adviser Stephen Miller and chief economic adviser Larry Kudlow.

In her own statement, Nielsen said she planned to "continue to direct the department to do all we can to implement the president's security-focused agenda".

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"The president is rightly annoyed that present loopholes and the dearth of Congressional motion have prevented this administration from absolutely securing the border and defending the American individuals".

Homeland Security spokesman Tyler Houlton posted on Twitter that the report is not accurate and Nielsen was not close to resigning.

During his 2016 presidential campaign, Trump fervently pushed for immigration reform by outlining bold plans, including the construction of a massive wall stretching across the US-Mexico border.

Illegal crossings plunged in the early phase of Trump's presidency, but have since returned to levels consistent with the last several years of the Obama administration. Another person said the president was primarily focused on the Homeland Security Department because he viewed Nielsen as primarily responsible for keeping unauthorized people out of the country.

Trump was furious with Nielsen, telling her he didn't think she was doing enough to secure the border.

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This has not been the first time Trump has berated his cabinet officials.

"I share his frustration", Nielsen's statement said.

Trump has clashed with Nielsen for weeks.

In return, Nielsen reportedly defended her stance and cited laws in several instances to support her comments. Nielsen recently worked with state governors to send contingents of National Guard troops to help secure the border after Trump called for them to do so. The president urged Nielsen to be more aggressive, the official said.

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