President Donald Trump, unhappy with the progress Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen has made on immigration enforcement, wants her out of office as soon as possible — even as early as this week — current and former White House officials have told The Washington Post.
According to the officials, who were not named, Trump has told his advisers he has decided to remove Nielsen. He also canceled his planned trip this week with her to visit troops at the South Texas border.
Chief of Staff John Kelly, whose own future in Trump's administration has been described as shaky, is fighting for Nielsen, and Department of Homeland Security officials would not address the news.
Colleagues have said Nielsen has not been happy in her job for several months, but she has been reluctant to resign before her one-year anniversary on Dec. 6. But Trump has often put her down during cabinet meetings, notes The Post.
The two have disagreed on immigration policy, and Trump has reportedly blamed her for a new surge at the Mexican border.
If she leaves, DHS will have a void in its leadership, as there has not been a deputy secretary at the agency since April and the White House has not nominated a new one.
Trump also has said that he has begun to think about Nielsen's replacement, reports The Post, which noted that one of the agency's officials who already has been confirmed by the Senate could be promoted. These include U.S. Customs and Border Protection Commissioner Kevin McAleenan or David Pekoske, administrator of the Transportation Security Administration and a former vice commandant of the Coast Guard.
Sandy Fitzgerald ✉
Sandy Fitzgerald has more than three decades in journalism and serves as a general assignment writer for Newsmax covering news, media, and politics.
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