Tags: Donald Trump | Homeland Security | Immigration | Trump Administration | kirstjen nielsen | dhs | illegals

NYT: DHS's Nielsen Almost Quit After Trump Border Rant

NYT: DHS's Nielsen Almost Quit After Trump Border Rant
Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen (Andrew Harnik/AP)

By    |   Thursday, 10 May 2018 06:09 PM

Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen told colleagues she nearly resigned after President Donald Trump berated her Wednesday at a Cabinet meeting for not adequately securing the nation's borders, The New York Times reported Thursday.

The Times cited "several current and former officials familiar with the incident," who said Nielsen has drafted a resignation letter but has not submitted it.

Nielsen, 45, who was named to the post after John Kelly was named chief of staff, oversees 20,000 border agents through Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

But Nielsen told CNN in a statement: "The president is rightly frustrated that existing loopholes have prevented this administration from securing the border and protecting the American people.

"I share his frustration.

"Border security is the most basic and necessary responsibility of a sovereign nation," she said. "These are complex issues, and I will continue to direct the department to do all we can to implement the president's security focused agenda.

"It's my great honor to represent the men and women of DHS who work every day to enforce our laws and secure our nation," Nielsen said.

According to the Times, Trump's "anger toward Ms. Nielsen at the Cabinet meeting was part of a lengthy tirade in which the president railed at his entire Cabinet about what he said was their lack of progress toward sealing the country's borders against illegal immigrants."

Nielsen, the report said, viewed Trump's "rant as directed mostly at her and told associates after the meeting that she should not continue in the job if the president did not view her as effective."

One person close to Nielsen told the Times she is "miserable in her job."

President Trump and Nielsen have "clashed for weeks about his belief that more should be done to secure the border."

In early April, Trump repeatedly expressed frustration Homeland Security was "not doing enough to close loopholes that were allowing illegal immigrants to flood into the country," the Times disclosed.

Trump said Saturday the U.S. might have to "close up our country" to get better control of its borders.

"They don't want the wall, but we're going to get the wall, even if we have to think about closing up the country for a while," Trump said in attacking Democrats at a tax-reform roundtable in Ohio.

"We're going to get the wall. We have no choice. We have absolutely no choice.

"And we're going to get tremendous security in our country," he said.

"And we may have to close up our country to get this straight, because we either have a country or we don't," the president added. "And you can't allow people to pour into our country the way they're doing."

White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders told the Times on Thursday that "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."

A Homeland Security spokesman declined to comment Thursday, according to the report.

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Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen reportedly nearly resigned after President Donald Trump berated her Wednesday at a Cabinet meeting over inability to secure the nation's borders, according to The New York Times.
kirstjen nielsen, dhs, illegals, border security, border wall
Thursday, 10 May 2018 06:09 PM
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