Secretary Nielsen Almost Resigned After Tense Cabinet Meeting
Secretary Nielsen Almost Resigned After Tense Cabinet Meeting
ImageKirstjen Nielsen the secretary of homeland security
12 May, 2018, 14:21
Two senior White House officials described Nielsen as upset after the meeting, but said they were unaware of such a letter or threats to resign. But Trump has made little progress on building the wall, and a new report from Vox claimed that Trump failed to understand even basics about what the USA government can do regarding border entries.
The White House declined specific comment on whether Trump berated Nielsen, her supposed resignation letter and on whether Trump retained confidence in Nielsen, who took over at DHS in December. The Times report claimed that she was "miserable" in her job according to a "person close to Ms. Nielsen".
Instead, she told the newspaper that she will "continue to direct the department to do all we can to implement the president's security-focused agenda" as head of almost 20,000 department employees.
In a statement, Nielsen said Trump was "rightly frustrated that existing loopholes and the lack of congressional action have prevented this administration from fully securing the border". "I share his frustration", she said in a statement.
However, a representative for the Department of Homeland Security, Tyler Q. Houlton, denied the idea, firmly labeling it "false". Nielsen issued a statement Thursday night, but it does not directly address the report or that she came close to resigning.
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While border apprehensions dipped a year ago to their lowest levels ever, the numbers have been ticking up in recent months, returning to more typical historical levels.
The secretary added, "Border security is the most basic and necessary responsibility of a sovereign nation". More recently, however, those numbers have climbed back toward the level they were in the final years of the Obama administration-an intolerable equivalence for Trump.
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. This "tantrum" went on for 30 minutes, which it noted was unusually long for one of Trump's anger outbursts, and left other officials in the room feeling uncomfortable.
Jeff Sessions and Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen had to explain to Trump that he didn't have the power to completely shut down the border.
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