Homeland Security Chief Was Close To Resigning After Trump Tirade

12 May, 2018, 04:32 | Author: Genevieve Gibbs
  • ImageKirstjen Nielsen the secretary of homeland security

President Donald Trump reportedly exploded at his Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen during a cabinet meeting and berated her for failing to adequately secure the nation's borders.

The episode, first reported by The New York Times, left Nielsen on the verge of resignation, according to the paper, which also said Nielsen, the former deputy White House chief of staff, had drafted - but not submitted - a resignation letter.

Trump's entire cabinet reportedly bore witness to the scolding, which the Times said was just a portion of a long rant about how the administration on the whole was falling short of its stated goal to tighten border security and curb illegal immigration.

It wouldn't be too surprising if that news upset the president.

She said Trump was "rightly frustrated that existing loopholes and the lack of congressional action have prevented this administration from fully securing the border".

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"All these are complicated matters and I will keep on to guide the Department to accomplish everything that we are able to in order to implement the President's security-focused schedule", she added, without saying anything regarding resignation programs.

What Trump didn't note when conveying those orders, however, was that the USA has a domestic and global legal obligation to process any immigrant who comes to its borders seeking asylum.

A Homeland Security spokesperson later denied the claims made in The Times's report: "The [New York Times] article alleging that the Secretary drafted a resignation letter yesterday and was close to resigning is false", spokesperson Tyler Houlton said. But Nielsen stood her ground, citing the law in certain instances, the source said.

At the meeting, Trump railed against her for failing to stop illegal border crossings.

Trump's anger about immigration has grown in recent weeks, according to several officials.

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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.

"And now Kelly says to our own John Roberts - good reporting - 'I wanted to call her to make sure she wasn't going to quit.' So I guess the cover story didn't hold very long", he added. "The laws in this country for immigration and illegal immigration are absolutely frightful".

During those discussions, officials had presented Trump with a list of proposals that would help border agents crack down on people crossing the border illegally and send them back more quickly.

He also went off on other cabinet officials who missed his expectations on stemming the flow of undocumented immigrants in the United States, one source who attended the meeting said.

Mostly, though, Nielsen struggled to get a word in, said one senior official.

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