Homeland Security Chief Was Close To Resigning After Trump Tirade

A White House source, who requested anonymity, confirmed the incident and said the argument was “heated and angry.”



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.

According to The New York Times, the president complained his administration has to do more on border security. While doing so, he directed his fury at Nielsen and blamed her for not introducing enough measures to stop undocumented border crossings.

In return, Nielsen reportedly defended her stance and cited laws in several instances to support her comments. She also tried to explain to him the department had limited options because of a number of legal restrictions. However, Trump remained unconvinced.

A White House source, who requested to remain anonymous, confirmed the incident and said the argument was “heated and angry.”

After the tirade, the homeland security secretary reportedly drafted a resignation letter. However, she didn’t submit the letter and the White House denied any such claims.

“The @nytimes article alleging that the Secretary drafted a resignation letter yesterday and was close to resigning is false,” tweeted Homeland Security spokesman Tyler Houlton.

White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said, “The president is committed to fixing our broken immigration system and our porous borders. We are a country of laws and the president and his administration will enforce them.'”

Nielsen also released a statement in wake of the incident where she said she shared the president’s frustrations but didn’t exactly deny the fact she penned her resignation.

“The president is rightly frustrated that existing loopholes and the lack of Congressional action have prevented this administration from fully securing the border and protecting the American people. I share his frustration,” she said.

The secretary added, “Border security is the most basic and necessary responsibility of a sovereign nation. [I will] continue to direct the department to do all we can to implement the president’s security-focused agenda.”

Trump nominated Nielsen to lead the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. She was retired Marine Corps General John Kelly’s chief of staff when he was secretary of homeland security during the opening months of Trump’s presidency.

The incident came amid the president‘s frustration over his administration’s failure to fully fund the border wall. He has also threatened to shut down the government by September if Congress does not approve funding to make good on his campaign promise to build a wall on the southern U.S. border with Mexico. 

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

In September 2017, the president openly expressed disdain over Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ decision to recuse himself from all investigations relating to Russia and even said he would have chosen another person for the job had he known Sessions would make that decision.

Trump reportedly called Sessions an “idiot” and asked for his resignation.

Banner/Thumbnail Credits: Reuters, Leah Millis - Yuri Gripas

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